Indonesian President Joko Widodo has repeatedly refused appeals for mercy for those languishing in Indonesian prisons awaiting execution by firing squad for drugs offenses. Widodo has consistently refused pleas for clemency from world leaders and has promised that the executions will continue. By the end of this month at least 14 people will have been executed since Widodo came to power last year.
Incredibly, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Widodo’s tough stance does not extend to his own citizens who are on death row in foreign jails.
Mr Widodo has apparently ordered Indonesian officials to speed up their preparations to execute the two Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Chan and Sukumaran were reportedly the ringleaders of the “Bali Nine”, a group of nine Australians arrested in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin to Australia from the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
The pair were sentenced to death while the other gang members were given prison sentences ranging from 20 years to life.
Widodo has refused appeals for clemency from Australian premier Tony Abbott and from the families of 31-year-old Chan and 33-year-old Sukumaran. In a bizarre turn of events Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has revealed Joko Widodo’s double standards. She emerged from a cabinet meeting to brief reporters, saying that President Joko Widodo had ordered that no effort be spared to secure the release of more than 200 Indonesians on death row around the world.
Ms Retno said “The President has instructed that the state be involved in every legal case.”
According to the Independent anger is rising in Australia as hope time runs out for Chan and Sukumaran. Friends of the doomed inmates claimed Australian police will have “blood on their hands” if they are killed after they assisted Indonesian authorities with their arrest 10 years ago.
According to The Australian, Joko Widodo has made it clear that he intended to preside over a slaughter of death-sentenced drug convicts. In December Widodo said that 64 drug convicts were on death row, with their last resort being Widodo’s grant of mercy, which he promised none would receive. Last week Joko Widodo justified his use of the death penalty in an address to the Congress of Indonesian Muslims.
“The decision to give the death sentence wasn’t the President’s, it was the judges in the courts. The President is just not giving forgiveness, not giving any clemency.”
“I guarantee that there will be no clemency for convicts who committed narcotics-related crimes. We carry out death sentences because it is still the law. Secondly, as I have said earlier, 18,000 people die due to drugs every year. This cannot be continued. It can’t be.”
Joko Widodo’s stance on clemency is incongruous even to his own officials. Widodo’s deputy minister for law and human rights, Denny Indrayana, said “Logically, if our president is to push strongly to seek clemency for Indonesian citizens facing the threat of the death penalty, then it is logical for our president to also grant clemency to foreigners.”
What do Inquisitr readers make of Joko Widodo’s stance on execution?
[Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Jason Childs/Getty Images]