Death-row prisoner moved as Indonesia prepares for executions

A Pakistani drug convict on death row in Indonesia was removed from hospital on Monday as Indonesia appeared to be preparing for a fresh round of executions, local reports said. 

Zulfikar Ali, who had been receiving treatment for liver problems since May, was taken out of a hospital in the town of Cilacap in Central Java province and taken to the nearby Nusa Kambangan Island penal complex, the state-run Antara news agency said.

Ali was seen crying as he left the hospital on a wheelchair, Antara said.

Ali's return to prison was seen as a sign that another round of executions for drug convicts was imminent. 

Last week, police transferred a female death-row convict, Indonesian Merry Utami, from a prison near Jakarta to Nusa Kambangan.

Nusa Kambangan, the site of previous executions, does not usually hold female convicts.

Last year, Indonesia executed 14 convicts, all but two of them foreigners, in a move that drew international condemnation.

The spokesman for the attorney general's office, Muhammad Rum, declined to say whether there would be executions this week, saying only that "preparations are underway." 

Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said last month that executions would be carried out after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, which fell on July 6.

He did not give an exact date or say how many would be put to death. 

Among those expected to be executed were four Chinese nationals, two Nigerians, two Senegalese, one Zimbabwean and one Pakistani, local media said.

About 121 people are currently on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mostly convicted of drug-related crimes, according to the Justice Ministry. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking since his election in 2014, saying the country is facing a drug emergency.

Last update: Mon, 25/07/2016 - 10:04
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