Despite Global Plea, Indonesia Executes Four Nigerians, Others

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Four Nigerians and two Australians were among persons executed on Tuesday for drug charges under Indonesian law.
The execution was carried out despite global pleas —– and threats.
The Nigerians were Martin Anderson, 50; Silvester Nwolise, 47; Jamiu Abasin, 50 and Okwudili Oyatanze, 41.
The two Australians were Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were among those executed early Wednesday, according to the Jakarta Post.
“We’ve carried out the executions,” an attorney general’s office official told the Jakarta Post.
The convicts were given a 72-hour execution notice over the weekend, which intensified last-ditch efforts to win reprieves for them.
A total of eight prisoners were killed in Wednesday’s execution, the Jakarta Post reported. One Filipino woman however received a last-minute reprieve, according to the newspaper.
“We want to send a strong message to drug smugglers that Indonesia is firm and serious in tackling the drug problem, and one of the consequences is execution if the court sentences them to death,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo told Al Jazeera last month.
Widodo, the first Indonesian president not to come from the country’s political or military elite, took office last fall, and has vehemently pursued harsh sentences for drug smuggling, calling illegal drug use a “national emergency.”
In January, the Indonesian government put six convicts to death, including five foreigners — more executions than the country ordered in the previous six years combined.
In an earlier interview with the Jakarta Globe, Widodo rebuffed foreigners’ calls for clemency.
“I will say this firmly: No one may intervene with the executions because it is our sovereign right to exercise our laws,” he said.
The push to move forward with the executions sparked international outcry from diplomats, lawyers, rights groups and a smattering of celebrities.
U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, called for a moratorium on Indonesia’s executions and a move toward abolition. The governments of Australia, France and the Philippines — which don’t have a death penalty — threatened diplomatic consequences if the country went through with the executions.
Efforts continued on behalf of other prisoners scheduled for execution who were convicted for drug smuggling but who are not among the “Bali Nine.” Lawyers for Rodrigo Gularte, a mentally ill Brazilian man, filed a last-ditch appeal Tuesday arguing he should be hospitalised, not executed.
And women’s rights groups demonstrated
for the release of the Filipino prisoner, 30-year-old migrant worker, Mary Jane Veloso, who said she was set up by a recruitment agency.
Veloso was spared from the death sentence Wednesday, the Jakarta Post reported.
On Nusakambangan Island, where family members made their last visits with the nine convicts, hope was in short supply. Family members sobbed as they pushed their way through a crowd of reporters, police and onlookers to the prison. A convoy of a dozen ambulances followed soon after. Nine of the vehicles contained a white coffin, one for each of the people to be executed.
Chan’s new wife, Indonesian pastor, Febyanti Herewila, paid a final visit to the man she married just the night before. She and Chan met while he was in an Indonesian jail where she conducted outreach — marrying her was Chan’s final request, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. A small group of family and friends attended the ceremony, a subdued affair at the island’s maximum security prison.
“It’s tough times but it’s happy times at the same time,” Michael Chan, Andrew’s brother, told reporters outside the jail Monday, as the New York Times reported. “We just hope that the president somewhere will find some compassion and mercy for these two, this young couple so they can carry on with their lives.”

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