Indonesia.jpg
Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he would personally ask the police to shoot drug traffickers summarily if the law allowed it.

His remarks came as the country is preparing to execute convicts on death row for drug offences. 

"Hit them, clobber them," Joko said on Sunday, according to a statement released by the Cabinet Secretariat on its website, referring to drug traffickers. 

"If the law allowed, shoot them," he said. "Fortunately the law doesn't allow it, otherwise I would personally order the National Police chief and the National Narcotics Agency chief [to do it]," he said in a speech marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.   

Joko said drugs had penetrated all levels of society and about 50 Indonesian youths died every day because of drug abuse. 

"One again, I reaffirm that it's time for a war on drugs," he said. 

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said his office planned to execute 16 drug convicts on death row after the Eid-al-Fitr Muslim holiday, which falls on July 6. 

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

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

They include Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines, Lindsay Sandiford from Britain and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui.

Under Indonesian law, each convict would face a firing squad of 10 gunmen.

Joko, who took office in 2014, has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, saying that the country is facing a drug emergency.  

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."