UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Thursday (July 28) appealed to Indonesia's government to halt the imminent execution of drug convicts and urged the president to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
Mr Ban recalled that under international law, the death penalty should be used for the most serious crimes and said "drug crimes are generally not considered to meet this threshold".
The appeal came as the Indonesian authorities stepped up preparations for the execution by firing squad of 14 drug convicts including foreigners from Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Zimbabwe. Indonesia has rejected international appeals to halt the executions.
Mr Ban issued a plea to the "government of Indonesia to stop the reportedly imminent execution of a number of prisoners for alleged drug-related crimes", said a statement from his spokesman.
The UN chief "urges President Joko Widodo to consider declaring a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Indonesia and to move towards its abolition."
The United Nations opposes capital punishment.