INDONESIA EXECUTIONS.jpg
Indonesian police officers stand guard at the gate to the port for the high-security Nusa Kambangan prison island ahead of executions of prisoners in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, 28 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/BAYU NUR

Indonesia executed four convicted drug traffickers on Friday, a top prosecutor said, in the third such group execution since President Joko Widodo took office in October 2014. 

The convicts were shot by firing squad at the Nusa Kambangan penal island shortly after midnight amid pouring rain, the deputy attorney general for general crimes, Noor Rachmad, told reporters during a briefing broadcast live on television.

Rachmad identified the executed inmates as Freddy Budiman from Indonesia and Seck Osmane, Michael Titus and Humphrey Ejike - all from Nigeria. 

The attorney general's office had said late Wednesday that 14 convicts would be executed.

"The decision to stay the executions of the 10 convicts was made by the team on the ground, based on judicial and non-judicial considerations," Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said, without elaborating. 

"Their executions will be carried out on a date to be decided later," he added. 

The executions came despite appeals for clemency from relatives of the convicts and calls for a halt to the death penalty from rights groups and the United Nations. 

"The execution of at least four people tonight by the Indonesian authorities is a deplorable act that violates international and Indonesian law," said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International's director for South-East Asia and the Pacific.

"The injustice already done cannot be reversed, but there is still hope that it won't be compounded," said 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged President 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.

Former president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie also called for mercy in a letter sent to Widodo, the text of which has made rounds on social media. 

The Community Legal Aid Institute, which advocates for the convicts, had earlier said those facing execution were four Indonesians, six Nigerians, one Zimbabwean, one Senegalese, one Indian and one Pakistani. 

Local and international rights groups had urged Widodo not to go forward with the executions.  

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

Attorney General Prasetyo brushed aside rights groups' criticism about a lack of integrity in some of the death penalty cases, saying that the legal process had been conducted "meticulously and properly." 

More than 100 people are currently on death row in Indonesia primarily for drug-related crimes, according to the Justice Ministry. Last year, the country executed 14 death row convicts. 

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

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.