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Update info:
29 Jul 2016
Merri Utami (f), Zulfikar Ali (m), Humphrey “Jeff” Jefferson Ejike (m), three other Nigerian nationals.
Gender m/f: both
5 Sep 2016
Distribution date:
29 Jul 2016
UA No:

Two death row prisoners were moved on 24 and 25 July to Nusakambangan prison island, where 13 executions were carried out in 2015. A lawyer has been informed about the imminent execution of his client and three other Nigerian nationals. The authorities have suspended family visits to the prison complex and completed preparation of the executions grounds, indicating that another round of executions by firing squad will be carried out soon.

Indonesian national Merri Utami, was moved on 24 July from the Tangerang Women Prison to Batu prison on Nusakambangan island, in Central Java. On 25 July, Zulfikar Ali, a Pakistani national, was also moved to Batu prison from Cilacap General Hospital, where he was treated for his kidney and heart problem. In 2015, 13 out of 14 executions were carried out by firing squad on the island. The lawyer of Humphrey “Jeff” Jefferson Ejike, a Nigerian national, told Amnesty International that he had received a notification on 22 July stating that Humphrey “Jeff” Jefferson Ejike and three other Nigerians on death row will be executed soon.

All of the people mentioned above were convicted of drug-related crimes. Relatives of prisoners held at the prison complex in Nusakambangan island told media that family visits have been suspended for a week. Some diplomatic representatives have been invited to visit death row prisoners from their respective countries in Cilacap city on 25 July, which suggests that executions could be carried out as early as 30 July. Prison and police officials have stated that they have completed the preparation of the execution grounds at Nusakambangan prison island and that firing squads had also been organized. To date, however, the Indonesian authorities have not provided formal notification of the forthcoming executions or information about when these will take place to the prisoners’ families and lawyers. Some of the prisoners who could be executed this week have not submitted their clemency requests to the President.

The Indonesian authorities have repeatedly referred to their execution plan as an effective tool in tackling drug trafficking, despite the lack of independent and credible evidence to support this claim. International law and standards require that the use of the death penalty be restricted to the “most serious crimes” or intentional killing.



Fourteen people were executed in Indonesia in 2015, 13 of them on Nusakambangan prison island, Central Java. Six of the 14 were executed on 18 January and the other eight on 29 April. At least 46 new death sentences were imposed in 2015, a sharp increase compared to 2014, when only six new death sentences were recorded. Of the new death sentences imposed in 2015, 29 were for drug-related offences and 17 for murder. At least 165 people were under sentence of death at the end of the year.

All the 2015 executions were carried out for drug trafficking, an offence that does not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law and standards. The UN Safeguards on the Death Penalty recommend that crimes punishable by death should “not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences”. The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions clarified in his 2012 report that the death penalty “may be imposed only for those crimes that involve intentional killing” and has specifically underlined that “The death penalty may not be imposed for drug-related offences unless they meet this requirement.”

Research findings by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Komnas HAM), Amnesty International, the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform and other human rights organizations showed that systemic flaws in the administration of justice in Indonesia have resulted in violations of fair trial and other international safeguards that must be strictly observed in all death penalty cases. In several of the cases considered, defendants did not have access to legal counsel from the time of arrest and at different stages of their trial and appeals. The police ill-treated some of them to make them “confess” to the crimes or counter-sign police investigation dossiers used as evidence in court. Several prisoners were brought before a judge for the first time when their trials began, months after their arrest and some of them did not receive legal assistance when appealing against their conviction or sentence, or did not even submit an appeal application because they were not informed by their lawyers of their right to do so. The execution of five death row prisoners went ahead in 2015 even though the Indonesian courts had accepted to hear their appeals. Despite the clear prohibition under international law on the use of the death penalty against persons who were below 18 years of age or have a mental or intellectual disability, Amnesty International documented that claims two prisoners made in relation to their juvenility and mental disability were not adequately investigated and have resulted in the unlawful imposition of the death penalty and, in at least one case, execution.

The majority of the world’s countries have now abolished the death penalty for all crimes and a total of 140 countries are abolitionist in law or practice. In 2015 alone four new countries − Congo (Republic of), Fiji, Madagascar and Suriname − repealed the death penalty from their legislation. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances, regardless of the nature of the crime, the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.

UA: 179/16 Index: ASA 21/4542/2016 Issue Date: 25 July 2016

Take action

Please write immediately in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to immediately halt plans to carry out any executions;
  • Urging them to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty and to commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment;
  • Reminding them that drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” to which the use of the death penalty must be restricted under international law and that international safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty must be strictly observed in all capital cases.

President of the Republic of Indonesia
H. E. Joko Widodo
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 345 0009
Email: webmaster@ksp.go.id
Twitter: @jokowi
Salutation: Dear President

Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Affairs
Mr Luhut Panjaitan
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 15
Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia
Fax: +62 21 348 33704
Twitter: @PolhukamRI
Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:
Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)
Mr Imdadun Rahmat
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4
Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10310
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
Email: info@komnasham.go.id

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.