Brazil, Netherlands recall Indonesia ambassadors after executions

Brazil, Netherlands recall Indonesia ambassadors after executions

JAKARTA - Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors in Indonesia after the Southeast Asian nation ignored their pleas for clemency and executed six prisoners for drug offences on Sunday, the first executions under President Joko Widodo.

The five foreigners and one Indonesian were killed by firing squad shortly after midnight, the Attorney General's Office said. The foreigners were from Nigeria, Malawi, Vietnam, the Netherlands and Brazil.

Brazil recalled its ambassador in Jakarta for consultations and said the executions would affect bilateral relations.

"The use of the death penalty, which the world society increasingly condemns, affects severely the relationship of our countries," the presidency said in a statement published by Brazil's official news agency.

The Netherlands, a former colonial power in Indonesia, also recalled its ambassador and condemned the execution of its citizen, Ang Kiem Soei.

"It is a cruel and inhuman punishment that amounts to an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity," said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.

Before the execution, the lawyer for Soei tweeted that Soei was thankful for the Dutch government's unsuccessful efforts and that he would stand before the firing squad without a blindfold.

Indonesia's president, who signed off on the executions last month, has taken a tough stance on the rule of law and pledged no clemency for drug offenders.

Indonesia resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap.

"This is a country that just a few years ago had taken positive steps to move away from the death penalty, but the authorities are now steering the country in the opposite direction," said Rupert Abbott, a Southeast Asia research director for Amnesty International.

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