Diplomatic Appeals Won't Stop Drug Executions: Indonesia

By Associated Press 20 January 2015

JAKARTA — Indonesia is sticking to its policy of executing drug offenders, including foreigners, and an official said Monday that the withdrawal of the Dutch and Brazil ambassadors would not disturb its diplomatic ties with those countries.

Jakarta brushed aside appeals by foreign leaders and executed six convicted drug traffickers over the weekend. One was an Indonesian woman and five were foreigners—men from Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria and the Netherlands and a Vietnamese woman.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the Dutch and Brazil government have recalled their ambassadors for consultation, which he called a normal right of every nation.

“Indonesia should not fear in upholding the law,” Nasir said.

He repeated that Indonesia has been in a state of “drug emergency.”

President Joko Widodo, who rejected clemency requests for all six convicts in December, refused a last-minute appeal by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the Dutch government to spare their countrymen—Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, 53, and Ang Kiem Soe, 52, of the Netherlands.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Maurio Vieira said that the executions “create a stain, a shadow in the bilateral relationship.”

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the execution was “an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”

The Nigerian government also protested that the execution took place “against the grain” of its excellent bilateral relations.

Coordinator Minister for Political, Law and Security Tedjo Edhy was confident that executions would not disturb diplomatic relations, adding that executions of Indonesians abroad had no impact on diplomatic ties.

Edhy guaranteed that Indonesia would not discriminate in imposing the death penalty. “The president has insisted that this is the decision of the state and therefore the origin countries of the convicts, including those being executed, have to respect and honor our law,” Edhy said.

Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago nation of 250 million people, has extremely strict drug laws and often executes smugglers. More than 138 people are on death row, mostly for drug crimes. About a third of them are foreigners.