Six drug smugglers have been executed by firing squad in Indonesia overnight. On Friday, it was reported in the Inquisitr that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had pleaded with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the lives of two Australian men who had been sentenced to death for drug smuggling.
Australian citizens and childhood friends Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were the ringleaders of a group of nine Australians arrested in Bali in April 2005, with more than 8.3kg (18lb) of heroin. The Australians have become known as the “Bali nine.” The other seven in the group have been jailed for between 20 years and life.
Mr. Widodo was elected to office in October and has promised that there will be no let up in his country’s tough stance against drug smugglers. Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest penalties for drug smugglers, and President Widodo has stated that he will not grant clemency to drug smugglers who have been sentenced to death.
In what will be seen as a severe blow to Sukerman and Chan, the Mail is reporting that the Indonesian authorities executed six people, including two women, by firing squad early this morning.
All six of those executed were convicted of drug smuggling. The two women, Vietnamese national Tran Bich Hanh, 37, and Indonesian Rani Andriani, 26, were both shot to death shortly after midnight on Saturday after exhausting all their possibilities for appeal and clemency.
Four men from Brazil, Malawi, the Netherlands, and Nigeria were also shot dead in pairs at the same time on Saturday on the Nusakambangan island penal colony.
Yahoo! News reports that the international response has been one of dismay, with Brazilian President Dilma Roussef saying she was “distressed and outraged” at the execution of a countryman despite repeated pleas for clemency.
Both Brazil and the Netherlands are temporarily recalling their ambassadors to Indonesia, and human rights group Amnesty International again urged Indonesia to “immediately halt plans to put more people to death.”
At present, over 60 drug smugglers are on death row in Indonesia — 26 of them, including Sukerman and Chan, are due to be executed this year.
Australia’s ABC News has reported that Indonesian attorney-general HM Prasetyo defended the country’s decision to execute the six drug smugglers yesterday.
Mr. Prasetyo said as follows.
“I hope the public would understand, and it’s time for us, including families to see this as our responsibility, and let each of us prevent the widespread of drug abuse.”
“A drug case is an extraordinary crime, hence we have to handle it extraordinarily. Indonesia has to be saved from the danger of drugs.
“Some of us do not believe that this act is necessary, but I believe time will tell that what we did is not wrong, it is entirely right.”
Mr. Prasetyo revealed that his country took such a tough stance against drug smugglers because between 40–50 people die from illegal narcotics in Indonesia each day. It would seem that the execution of drug smugglers will continue despite widespread condemnation