This March 28, 2016 photo shows an individual suspected of drug trafficking being escorted into the courtroom for sentencing in Denpasar on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali. (AFP photo)
Indonesian officials have started preparations for a new wave of executions in the country despite global outrage one year ago over Jakarta’s putting to death of several foreign drug convicts.
Police said Wednesday that they have began getting ready for the executions after an order came from the attorney-general’s office, the body which oversees executions in Indonesia.
Central Java police spokesman, Aloysius Lilik Darmanto, said the executions would take place in the island of Nusakambangan in Central Java. He said the convicts, whose identities are yet to be announced, will face firing squad as it has been the case for others over the past two years.
“We have been making preparations … we have also prepared the facility for the bodies,” said Darmanto.
“We are ready whenever the order comes,” he said, adding, “Each death row convict will face a group of 10 shooters and one group commander. We have selected and trained the personnel.”
About a year ago, Indonesia executed seven foreigners and an Indonesian for drug offences, sparking massive international fury. Heedless of that, the government of President Joko Widodo insists that drug traffickers must face the firing squad to stem rising narcotics use in Indonesia. He says his country has the right to use capital punishment.
Among those put to death in April last year were two Australians, identified as Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Their executions caused special tension, with Indonesia’s neighbor Australia temporarily recalling its ambassador from Jakarta.
Frenchmen Serge Atlaoui and Filipina Mary Jane Veloso were both pulled from the executions and they may be on death row this time. Paris has urged annulment of their death sentence. Lindsay Sandiford, a British grandmother, also faces death after she was caught smuggling a huge stash of cocaine into the resort island of Bali.
A total of 14 drug convicts, mostly foreigners, have been executed since Widodo took office in 2014.