Indonesia to execute drug convicts, first under new president

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesian authorities plan to execute six prisoners on Sunday convicted of drug offences, including five foreigners, the government said, the first time capital punishment will be carried out under new President Joko Widodo.

The planned executions were announced by the Indonesian Attorney General's Office.

Mr Widodo, who took office in late October, signed off on the executions last month. He pledged no clemency for drug offenders, despite pleas from the European Union, the Brazilian government and Amnesty International.

The five foreigners due to be executed are from Nigeria, Malawi, Vietnam, the Netherlands and Brazil.

"Indonesia's new government took office on the back of promises to improve respect for human rights, but carrying out these executions would be a regressive move," said Rupert Abbott, a Southeast Asia research director for Amnesty International.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the planned executions were "deeply regrettable" and urged Indonesia to establish a moratorium on the death penalty.

Indonesia resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.

Widodo has taken a strong stance on the rule of law, not only on drugs but also on corruption and maritime law.

In his first few months in office, he has ordered illegal fishing vessels to be blown up by the navy and supported the unprecedented move of dismissing the entire board of energy giant Pertamina.

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