REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA: “Reprehensible” executions show complete disregard for human rights safeguards

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30 Apr 2015
[International Secretariat]
Topic: Abolition of the Death Penalty

The execution of eight people in Indonesia today shows complete disregard for due process and human rights safeguards, Amnesty International said. The organization also called for any plans to carry out further executions to be scrapped.

Eight people, including Indonesian and foreign nationals, were today put to death by firing squad on Nusakambangan Island, off Java. All of them had been convicted of drug trafficking. The execution of a Filipina national, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, was halted at the last minute by President Widodo

“These executions are utterly reprehensible– they were carried out with complete disregard for internationally recognized safeguards on the use of the death penalty,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“The death penalty is always a human rights violation, but there are a number of factors that make today’s executions even more distressing. Some of the prisoners were reportedly not provided access to competent lawyers or interpreters during their arrest and initial trial, in violation of their right to a fair trial which is recognized under international and national law” said Rupert Abbott.

“One of those executed today had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and international law clearly prohibits the use of the death penalty against those with mental disabilities. It’s also troubling that people convicted of drug trafficking have been executed, even though this does not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty can be imposed under international law.”

“President Joko Widodo should immediately abandon plans to carry out further executions and impose a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards abolition.”

Fourteen people have now been put to death in Indonesia in 2015, and the government has announced plans for further executions this year.

28 April 2015

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