Indonesian leader insists death penalty 'positive' for country

Indonesian leader insists death penalty 'positive' for country

ABEPURA, Indonesia - Indonesian President Joko Widodo insisted Saturday that the death penalty was "positive" for his country after the execution of seven foreign drug convicts by firing squad last month sparked international outrage.

"The death penalty is still our positive law," he said in an interview with journalists in Abepura, eastern Indonesia, adding that more than 50 people die in the country every day due to narcotics.

Asked about the angry reaction in other countries - the executed convicts were from Australia, Brazil and Nigeria - he insisted: "My duty as president of Indonesia is to carry out the law and I'm sure other countries will understand this."

Australia withdrew its ambassador to Jakarta following the execution of two of its citizens, while the United Nations voiced deep regret.

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