Indonesia executes 4 drug offenders despite global outcry

JAKARTA, July 28 (UPI) — Indonesia carried out the execution early Friday of four people convicted for drug offenses, an official said, despite objections from the international community over capital punishment.

A total of 14 people were due to be executed this week, the government announced Thursday, 10 of which were non-Indonesians. The country’s ongoing “war on drugs” also led to the executions of drug convicts last year, at least some of whom were foreigners.

It is not known exactly which convicts were executed, but the make-up of the group includes four Indonesians and 10 others from South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said the executions are expected to be completed no later than Sunday.

“The action that Indonesia takes now is just about law implementation and enforcement,” said Arrmanatha Nasir, the chief spokesman for the country’s Foreign Ministry. “Just like how Indonesia respects the law of other nations, we hope all countries will respect Indonesian law.”

The government has put more men to death in the last two years than it has in the previous decade. Virtually all for drug offenses. The United Nations and human rights groups have claimed the convicted are not receiving fair trials.

“The increasing use of the death penalty in Indonesia is terribly worrying and I urge the government to immediately end this practice, which is unjust and incompatible with human rights,” said Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, in a statement.

“The death penalty is not an effective deterrent relative to other forms of punishment, nor does it protect people from drug abuse.”

President Joko Widodo, in his war on Indonesia’s drug problem, has claimed about 50 people are killed in his country each day from drug use.

Officials have prepared a burial site for Muslims and another site for Christians whose bodies will not be transferred to the families after execution, said Capt. Bintoro Wasono, a Cilacap police spokesman.

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