Nigerian embassy told to visit 4 nationals on death row as Indonesia gives 72 hours notice of impending executions


Indonesia has given a group of death row inmates 72 hours notice before they face the firing squad. Authorities have been making preparations, with death row drug convicts transferred to Nusakambangan prison island (pictured) where Indonesia puts convicts to death.

Fourteen prisoners are listed for execution, among them four Nigerian nationals, including Humphrey Ejike Jefferson and Michael Tutus Igwe, a Pakistani, one Indonesian woman, a Chinese, and Taiwanese nationals. Lawyers for some of the inmates have told ABC their clients may seek last-minute clemency from President Joko Widodo, meaning their executions could be delayed.

Meanwhile, Nigerian embassy were told to visit the Nigerian nationals in Cilacap yesterday, July 25 as they could be executed is days, reports Samantha Hawley for ABC Jakarta.

Despite widespread international condemnation from Diplomats and rights groups, President Widodo is determined to push ahead with the execution, insisting Jakarta is fighting a war against drugs and traffickers must be harshly punished.

The country’s Attorney-General’s office, which oversees executions, would not confirm any details but spokesman Mohammad Rum said: “The time is approaching.”

However, Deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta Syed Zahid Raza said the convicts, including a Pakistani, could be executed around midnight Friday. Pakistan has so far publicly voiced the most concern about the upcoming executions, and its foreign ministry summoned the Indonesian ambassador to Islamabad to convey their concerns about the case of their national, 52-year-old Zulfiqar Ali.

Activists said Mr Ali, sentenced to death in 2005 for heroin possession, was beaten and tortured into confessing and did not receive a fair trial. Rights groups have also called on Indonesia to halt the planned executions, citing worries about irregularities with some convictions.

In a statement, Amnesty International urged “the country’s authorities to halt all executions and to take immediate steps to ensure that the cases of all those under sentence of death are reviewed by an independent and impartial body”.
There have also been concerns over the case of a female Indonesian drug convict, Merri Utami, who is among the group. Rights group the National Commission on Violence Against Women said the former domestic worker was tricked into trafficking heroin.

Authorities have been making preparations, with death row drug convicts transferred to Nusakambangan prison island, where Indonesia puts convicts to death, and 14 prisoners reportedly placed in isolation — an usual step before executions.

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About 1,500 police were being deployed around Cilacap, the town closest to Nusakambangan, visitors have been barred for a week and Muslim and Christian spiritual counsellors were seen crossing to the island.

Source: AP/ABC

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