Indonesia on Thursday night executed four convicted drug traffickers, including three Nigerians, leaving the fate of 10 others uncertain.The Nigerians and an Indonesian man were shot by firing squad during a thunderstorm on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java, as the government ignored international calls for clemency and pushed ahead with what it considers a war on drugs.
The Indonesian government said on Wednesday that 14 prisoners, including citizens of India, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, would be executed this weekend.
An official said on Wednesday that the planned executions would go ahead “in stages” but declined to give a timeframe.
Security was stepped up at the Indonesian embassy in Abuja on Thursday as protesters gathered to urge Indonesia to halt the executions.
Indian and Pakistani officials said they were making last-minute efforts to save their citizens.
“We considered several factors and decided that for now four death-row inmates would be executed,” Noor Rachmad, an official at the attorney general’s office, told reporters shortly after Thursday’s executions.
Reacting to the execution, the spokesperson for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said it was unfortunate the agency could not stop the process.
He added that Indonesian authorities should have reduced the punishment to life imprisonment rather than killing of the convicts which he described as “unfashionable.”
He said, “It is a pathetic thing to see fellow citizens being killed abroad for drug-related offences. As an agency, we feel for the families of those affected. As much as we could not stop the country (Indonesia), we would have loved if the execution could be changed to life imprisonment. Capital punishment is no longer fashionable.”
Just over a year ago, Indonesia executed 14 prisoners, mostly foreign drugs offenders, causing diplomatic outrage.
Rights activists and governments have again called on Indonesia to abolish the death penalty.