Despite the appeals by the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), Indonesia on Thursday has decided to go on ahead to execute 14 drug convicts including foreigners, with growing speculation that they could face the firing squad in a few hours.
The group consisting of Pakistani national, Zulfiqar Ali and citizens of Nigeria, India and Zimbabwe and others from Indonesia has been kept in isolation on a prison island where Jarkarta performs executions.
Preparations were quickened as ambulances were seen carrying coffins across to Nusakambangan island.
According to a lawyer and diplomat, family members were informed that the convicts will be executed on Thursday night, expressing anger as it was earlier than thought.
Arrmanatha Nasir, Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman stood by the impending executions, saying they were “pure law enforcement”.
“I need to emphasise that all the legal processes of the convicts have been completed, all their rights have been fulfilled — we target the drug traffickers and not users,” he said.
Indonesia was accused of breaking its own laws by planning to hold the executions on Thursday.
A three-day notice of the plan was given to diplomats and lawyers on Tuesday afternoon, believing the earliest that the execution could happen was Friday.
Ricky Gunawan, a lawyer for a Nigerian convict meant to face the firing squad said, “I am very concerned — this cannot happen.”
“It is clearly against the law. This execution has been completely under secrecy from the start.”
The deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, Syed Zahid Raza, claimed that the family of a Pakistani convict, Zulfiqar Ali, had been told that he would be executed on Thursday night. His family took the streets of Lahore on Wednesday against his pending execution.
Spokesman Nasir maintained that all obligations of informing foreign representatives had been done by the ministry.
Pakistani has been unsupportive and annoyed over the planned execution of Ali, who most right groups believe was beaten into confessing, summoning Indonesia’s ambassador in Islamabad this week to voice their concerns.
The attorney general’s office, which is in charge of executions, failed to give any comments.
The last executions carried out in Indonesia was in April 2015, when eight drug convicts were executed, including two Australians, sending global heatwave.
However, President Joko Widodo has stood by the use of the death penalty to fight rising narcotics use.
On Wednesday, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Indonesia to put an end to the “unjust” use of the death penalty while the European Union pleaded Jakarta to discontinue the “cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent”.