Indonesia to send more foreign convicts to face firing squad

Indonesia to send more foreign convicts to face firing squad
Chintu Sukumaran (C), the brother of Australian death row inmate Myuran Sukumaran, arrives at Kerobokan Prison with an unidentified relative to visit his brother in Denpasar, Bali January 27, 2015 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

The government has revealed a plan to execute another 11 death-row convicts on the isolated Nusakambangan Island in Cilacap, Central Java, rejecting international calls over human rights concerns in favour of a firm commitment to fighting against narcotics in the country.

Attorney General HM Prasetyo told lawmakers of House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs, human rights and security during a meeting on Wednesday that his office was looking at the timing as well as the location of the execution of convicts from countries including France, Ghana, Spain and the Philippines.

Prasetyo did not reveal further details of the convicts before the meeting, telling lawmakers that the executions would likely take place on Nusakambangan as the isolated island was considered "an ideal place" for executions in terms of security measures.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Prasetyo told the press that the executions might also include two Australians - Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - who are known as part of the Bali Nine drug-traffickers group.

The two Australian nationals are currently serving time in Kerobokan penitentiary in Denpasar.

The NasDem Party politician said that his office was finalizing paperwork regarding the two Australians as well as other drug convicts, who are said to be scheduled for execution next month.

Prasetyo declined to mention the exact number of convicts to face the firing squad, but on a separate occasion Attorney General's Office (AGO) spokesman Tony T. Spontana confirmed that currently there were 11 death-row convicts on the AGO's soon-to-be-executed list, adding that they were on the list as President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had rejected their clemency requests last year.

"Out of the 11 people, eight are drug convicts, while the other three are non-drug convicts," Tony told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

He said that as the exact date of the executions had yet to be decided, the AGO would not disclose to the public the names of the convicts due to be executed in the near future.

The Post has learned that the list includes the two Australian nationals, Chan and Sukumaran, as well as three Indonesian murder convicts, Syofial, Sargawi and Harun, and Indonesian drug trafficker Zainal Abidin.

Meanwhile, the other drug convicts are Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines, Serge Areski Atlaoui of France, Martin Anderson alias Belo of Ghana and Raheem Agbaje Salami of Spain.

"Basically, there has been no decision made yet on when the executions will be conducted. Just wait for the official announcement from the AGO," Tony said.

Sukumaran and Chan are on death row after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia in 2005.

Veloso attempted to hide 2.6 kilograms of heroin at Adisucipto International Airport in April 2010, while Atlaoui was arrested with 138.6 kg of methamphetamine, 290 kg of ketamine and 316 drums of precursor at a drug-making factory in Cikande, Tangerang, Banten, in November 2005.

Anderson was arrested for the possession of 50 grams of heroin in Kelapa Gading in November 2003, while Salami was found with 5 kg of heroin back in 1999.

Prasetyo also disclosed during the House hearing that the AGO had allocated Rp 258 million (S$28,400) for every death-row convict.

On Jan. 18, the government executed an Indonesian and five foreign nationals for their involvement in drug trafficking.

Some of the executions took place on Nusakambangan Island.

Prasetyo said the cost of travel to the island was Rp 100 million for every inmate.

"We initially also planned the executions in the Thousands Islands [regency in Jakarta], but the additional costs for security made it more than we spent for the executions on Nusakambangan," said Prasetyo.

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