INDONESIA EXECUTIONS DEATH PENALTY.jpg
An Indonesian activist lights candles next to a poster written with 'Jokowi (President Joko Widodo), stop the executions', during a candlelight protest against death penalty executions, outside the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, 28 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/MAST IRHAM

The executions of 14 people on death row for drug trafficking loomed Thursday in Indonesia despite outcry from the UN and rights groups and that have faulted the country's justice system in finding convictions.

The convicts could face a firing squad at the Nusa Kambangan prison complex off the coast of Java at midnight Thursday, said Antonius Badar Karwayu, who represented two of the convicts.

"The families have been notified that there would be executions and the convicts had been asked for their last wishes," Karwayu said. 

"Their families were given until 3 pm today to visit them so it's likely that the executions would be carried out tonight," he said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo "to consider declaring a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Indonesia and to move towards its abolition," Ban's office said in a statement on Thursday.

While the attorney general's office has not announced a date for the executions, spokesman Muhammad Rum confirmed that 14 convicts would be executed "soon" and that they included Freddy Budiman and Merry Utami - both Indonesian - and Pakistani Zulfikar Ali.

"I have only been informed of those three names," he said. 

The Community Legal Aid Institute, which advocates for the convicts, said those facing execution are four Indonesians, six Nigerians, two Zimbabweans, one Indian and one Pakistani. 

Local and international rights groups have urged Widodo to halt the impending executions.  

They have said that some of the convicts could have been victims of miscarriages of justice, after allegations that police used torture to extract confession from suspects and that detainees were denied access to lawyers.

India has verbally requested from Indonesia's Foreign Ministry "that all legal recourse ... be exhausted before the death penalty is carried out" against Indian national Gurdeep Singh, who was convicted in 2005.

Singh's legal representative was also filing for presidential clemency for his client.

The United Nations human rights commissioner on Wednesday urged Indonesia to end the death penalty. 

"I find it deeply disturbing that Indonesia has already executed 19 people since 2013, making it the most prolific executioner in South-East Asia," Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said that the convicts had been given their rights according to the laws.

"The death penalty being applied in Indonesia is not against international law," he said. 

"Those sentenced to death have gone through a legal process and they are big traffickers, not users," he said.   

Last year, Indonesia executed 14 death row convicts in a move that drew criticism from the United Nations and the European Union.

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

The president has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking since his election in 2014, saying the country is facing a drug emergency.

Related stories

Latest news

US Democratic Party chooses Tom Perez to be next party chief

The US Democratic Party elected former labour secretary Tom Perez as its next party chief at a meeting in Atlanta on Saturday.

73-year-old man dies after car ramming in Germany

A 73-year-old male pedestrian died from his injuries after being run over when a car rammed into people in the south-western town of Heidelberg, police said Saturday.

Syrian government vows retribution for Homs attacks that killed 42

The Syrian government vowed retribution for synchronized attacks on Saturday in Homs City that left 42 security personnel dead and reportedly involved up to six suicide bombers.

Between 250,000 and 300,000 Croatians suffer from rare diseases

Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28, was marked in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg Square on Saturday.

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot a man who rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's al-Sissi orders cabinet to help Christians fleeing Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.

EU ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin under 24-hour police protection

EU Ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin and her family have been given 24-hour armed police protection due to threats she has been receiving lately, the Austrian paper Der Standard said on Saturday, explaining that the threats were linked to Vlahutin's monitoring of a reform of Albania's judiciary designed to curb corruption in that country.

Italy deports two over suspected contact with Berlin attacker

Italy has deported two Tunisian asylum seekers who have been classed as a danger to national security, the Interior Ministry in Rome said on Saturday.

Croatian PM says HEP IPO most efficient model for INA buyout

Prime Minister and HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic on Saturday commented on models for buying back Hungarian oil and gas company MOL's stake in INA, saying that an initial public offering of 25% of the HEP power company's shares to obtain funds for INA's buyout was "the most efficient, fastest, simplest and cleanest option with the fewest participants, which enables the state, which is the owner (of HEP), to control the process in its entirety."

Iraqi forces advance in western Mosul amid fierce resistance from IS

Iraqi forces were making advances in western Mosul, entering a new neighbourhood north of the airport, amid fierce resistance from Islamic State militia, a security official said Saturday.