UN chief deplores Indonesia executions

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed deep regret on Wednesday over the executions of seven foreigners in Indonesia, saying the death penalty "has no place in the 21st century."

Ban had on Sunday called on President Joko Widodo to declare a moratorium on capital punishment and spare the lives of the drug convicts.

"He again urges the government to exercise its authority and commute all death sentences," said a statement from his spokesman.

"The death penalty has no place in the 21st century," he said, recalling that a record 177 countries at the United Nations had voted in favor of a moratorium on capital punishment.

He appealed to all countries that still resort to the death penalty to join in the movement toward abolition.

Indonesia has staunchly defended the executions as a vital front of its "war" on drugs.

The seven - two from Australia, one from Brazil and four from Africa - were shot along with one Indonesian, despite the international appeals and pleas from family members.