Indonesia orders preparations for executions of drug convicts
Indonesia has asked foreign embassies to send representatives to a maximum security prison ahead of the expected execution of 10 drug convicts, although an official 72-hour notice of execution has not been given yet, diplomats said on Friday.
The Indonesian government said Thursday it had ordered officials to make preparations to execute a group of drug convicts, most of them foreigners, despite mounting international criticism.
A Filipino maid facing the death penalty after being convicted of drug trafficking was moved Friday to an island prison in Indonesia where the execution will take place. An armored personnel carrier and a car were seen arriving at a port Friday for the short trip to Nusakambangan island, and prison officials said Mary Jane Veloso was inside the car.
Ten convicts — from Australia, France, Brazil, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana and Indonesia — will face the firing squad at the same time after recently losing appeals for presidential clemency, typically the final chance to avoid execution.
Tony Spontana, the spokesman for the attorney general\’s office, told AFP that a senior official in the office had "ordered officials in charge of executions to make preparations for an execution".
"This order has been issued so that the officials make preparations concerning their role," he said, without giving further details.
No date has been set for the executions. Convicts must be given 72 hours notice before being put to death, and Spontana said that those awaiting execution had not yet been given this notice.
Authorities were now waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on an appeal lodged by the Indonesian convict among the group, Spontana said.
His is the final Supreme Court appeal pending, and a decision is expected soon. The court on Tuesday rejected appeals by Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Martin Anderson from Ghana.
Death row convicts can pursue appeals in other courts — and several in the group facing execution are doing so — but they are seen as having little chance of success, and authorities say such efforts simply attempts by condemned prisoners to buy time.
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, is escorted by Indonesian police. Photo – AFP/File
Foreign countries have been heaping pressure on Indonesia to change course over the executions. Australia has mounted a sustained diplomatic campaign to save two Australians among the group, ringleaders of the so-called "Bali Nine" drug-trafficking gang.
Since Atlaoui\’s appeal was rejected, France has also dramatically stepped up pressure on Jakarta.
French President Francois Hollande has warned his execution could seriously damage bilateral ties, and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius wrote a letter to his Indonesian counterpart, raising concerns about Atlaoui\’s trial.
Despite the criticism, President Joko Widodo has insisted that the executions will go ahead, saying that Indonesia is facing an emergency due to rising drugs use.
SOURCE – AFP