Indonesia to hold next round of executions on Friday: Diplomat

Policemen arriving at Indonesia's highest security Nusakambangan prison on July 25, 2016.
Policemen arriving at Indonesia's highest security Nusakambangan prison on July 25, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesia will execute several people including a Pakistani on Friday (July 29), a Pakistani embassy official said, its first executions since last year when it put to death 14 people, most of them foreign drug convicts, sparking an international outcry.

Indonesian officials have said 16 people will be executed this year, including citizens of Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Pakistan, though they have not confirmed any more details.

Syed Zahid Raza, charge d’affaires at the Pakistani embassy in Jakarta, said the embassy had been informed about the imminent execution of the Pakistani, Zulfikar Ali, convicted of smuggling drugs. 

“We were invited to meet with officials from the attorney general’s office today who told us the executions will take place on Friday,” Raza told Reuters on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office declined to comment on any time frame.

Pakistan on Monday urged Indonesia to stay Ali’s execution, citing concern that his 2005 trial had been unfair.

Ali will make a last-ditch attempt to escape the death penalty by appealing directly to Indonesian President Joko Widodo for clemency, Raza said.

Indonesia says it is facing a “drugs emergency” and has vowed no mercy for traffickers. Its executions by firing squad have caused outrage overseas though surveys show Indonesians are largely in favour of capital punishment.

Last year, Australia recalled its envoy to Jakarta, and Brazil said it was shocked and was evaluating ties after their citizens were executed.

But President Joko has disregarded diplomatic pressure and vowed to ramp up a war on drugs in what is among South-east Asia’s biggest markets for narcotics.

The executions will take place at a maximum security prison on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java but it is not clear how many prisoners will face the firing squad this week.

Authorities have not given a breakdown of the numbers of foreigners on death row but citizens of France, Britain and the Philippines are known to be among them.