Friday, 24 April 2015

Countdown appears to start for execution of foreigners in Indonesia

Countdown appears to start for execution of
foreigners in Indonesia
By Randy Fabi and Kanupriya Kapoor
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has asked foreign
embassies to send representatives to a maximum
security prison ahead of the expected execution of
10 drug convicts, although an official 72-hour
notice of execution has not been given yet,
diplomats said on Friday.
Among the convicted drug offenders set to face the
firing squad are nationals from Australia, Brazil,
France and Nigeria and the case has strained
relations between the governments of those
nations and Indonesia.
"It's true, we have been told to be there on
Saturday," said a foreign embassy official who
asked not to be identified because she was not
authorised to speak to the media.
"We still don't know when the actual date of
execution will happen but we expect that it will be
in days."
Security was heightened on Friday at the prison
island of Nusakambangan off the Javanese port of
Cilacap, where the executions will take place. It
was not immediately clear why the representatives
from the four countries had been summoned.
A police spokesman said orders to prepare the
firing squad had not yet come from the Attorney
General's Office.
The Attorney General has been waiting for all the
legal processes of the 10 death row inmates to be
completed before announcing an execution date.
Lawyers were scrambling to various Indonesian
courts in a last-ditch attempt to delay the
execution. But the only outstanding appeal
considered still valid by the attorney general was
for an Indonesian national, said spokesman Tony
Spontana.
The attorney general will announce the date of the
execution in Jakarta but it was not yet clear when
that would happen, he said.
On a visit to Indonesia, Philippine Vice President
Jejomar Binay is expected to meet President Joko
Widodo on Friday to make a final appeal for mercy
on behalf of one its citizens that is among the
group of 10.
France has warned Indonesia that the executions
could damage ties, while Australia has pleaded
repeatedly for clemency for Andrew Chan and
Myuran Sukumaran, two Australians arrested as
ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine drug-
smuggling group.
The members of the Bali Nine were arrested at the
main airport on the holiday island of Bali for trying
to smuggle 8 kg (18 lb) of heroin to Australia. The
seven other members of the gang, all Australians,
have been jailed in Indonesia.
Indonesia has harsh punishments for drug crimes
and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year
gap. Six executions have been carried out so far
this year.

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