Families ask Indonesia for clemency for drug prisoners

Families ask President Joko Widodo for mercy, days before their relatives are set to face firing squad for drug crimes.

The families of foreign prisoners on death row for drug offences in Indonesia have appealed to the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, to show mercy, days before their relatives are due to face a firing squad.

On Saturday, Indonesia gave 72 hours’ notice to four Nigerians, two Australians, a Brazilian, a Ghanaian, a Filipino and an Indonesian national on death row that they are to be executed, possibly as soon as Tuesday.

The attorney general’s office said notices that they would face a firing squad were delivered to the 10 inmates on the prison island of Nusakambangan, despite last-minute appeals for clemency from the governments of several of the prisoners’ countries.

A temporary reprieve had been granted to the French citizen, Serge Atlaoui, a French embassy official said on Saturday.

Atlaoui’s execution was delayed over an outstanding legal complaint over the procedure followed in his request for clemency.

However, the Indonesian attorney general, Tony Spontana, said the Supreme Court was expected to rule on the matter on Monday.

Mental illness

The Brazilian family of Rodrigo Gularte pleaded for the cancellation of his execution on Sunday, saying he has been diagnosed with a mental illness by a local hospital.

Gularte was sentenced to death in 2005 after being arrested for attempting to smuggle 6kg of cocaine into Indonesia.

“On behalf of the family, we are asking Indonesian President Jokowi to see truly and wisely the facts and beg the president to cancel the executions,” said the family’s Indonesian lawyer, Ricky Gunawan, accompanied by Gularte’s cousin Angelita Muxfeldt.

“We know the president has the right to cancel executions. We hope that Rodrigo will be treated at a mental hospital, just as the local hospital in Cilacap has recommended.”

Indonesia’s president says drugs are destroying his country’s future generations

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two Australians arrested as ringleaders of the “Bali Nine” drug-smuggling group, were among those given notice of their executions, lawyers said.

The brothers of the two men appealed to Indonesia’s president to show mercy.

“My brother and Andrew [Chan] and seven other people, we ask the president to please use his powers to show mercy, to show the same mercy that I know that he has asked for, for Indonesian citizens,” Chintu Sukumaran, the brother of Myuran Sukumaran said.

Michael Chan said that somewhere in the legal system in Indonesia, “there has got to be mercy”.

“The president needs to show that now. He’s the only one that can stop it and it’s not too late to do so. So I ask the president please show mercy,” Michael Chan said.

The Indonesian president’s determination to deal harshly with drug crimes has won him popular support at home.

The southeast Asian country resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap and six prisoners have gone before a firing squad so far this year.

However, Widodo’s tough stance has prompted international criticism, sparking a plea for clemency from the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and straining relations with several countries, particularly its neighbour Australia.

The French president, Francois Hollande, was to met with his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott on Monday, and has previously said France would work with Australia to halt the executions.

Source: News Agencies


More from News
Most Read