Published On: Wed, Apr 29th, 2015

Indonesia’s Government Stands By Its Executions

Andrew Chan & Myuran Sukumaran

Andrew Chan (left) and Myuran Sukumaran have been in prison awaiting execution for a decade.

After months of negotiating with foreign governments Indonesia fulfilled its plan and executed seven foreign citizens for drug trafficking. Right after the executions officials of Indonesia defended their acts and emphasized on fact that they’ll do anything to show how serious they are about the war on drugs.

Despite the best efforts of politicians and family appeals to Indonesian government nothing stopped the executions. President Joko Widodo stands firm to his decision saying everything has been done by the rule of law.

Outside of the prison in which the executions took place a group of protestors gathered to support ones waiting on their execution. A firing squad shot seven people right when the clock showed midnight. Instead of crying over their destiny the convicts were singing, praying to God and their families. Two of the executed people were from Australia, one from Brazil and four from Africa. One Indonesian man was also with the seven foreign convicts as an example that their law is the same for everyone.

A Filipina was the only lucky one who avoided execution, at least for some time. Her sentence was delayed due to new events and evidence for her innocence. The woman that duped her into drug trafficking came forward to the Philippines authorities. Mary Jane Veloso’s case is re-opened and a new investigation has begun, but the Indonesian Attorney General, Muhammad Prasetyo, warned the Philippines not to celebrate this too early, because he sees this just as postponement.

Prasetyo held a short press conference explaining the Indonesian attitude towards drugs and it’s relation with other countries. “We are fighting a war against horrible drug crimes that threaten our nation’s survival.We are not making enemies of countries from where those executed came. What we are fighting against is drug-related crimes.”

Australia already asked their ambassadors to leave Indonesia right after the executions. Their citizens were waiting on death row for a decade, but even that was not enough to convince the Indonesian officials to extradite Australians or to reduce their sentence. This event might shake relations between the two countries and since Australia is one of the biggest trade partners to Indonesia the reduction of business could affect its economy.

The Prime Minister of Australia said “We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual.” He also said that there are many ways to punish people for breaking the law, but execution is just cruel and unnecessary.

Even former president SusiloBambang Yudhoyono tried to do something about the issue saying this could reflect Indonesia in a bad light and stop possible investors, but the prosecution would not change their decision.

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