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Indonesia: First execution in four years prompts fears for Britons on death row

The first execution in Indonesia in more than four years is a shocking and regressive step, Amnesty International said today as it urged the government not to follow through on promises to put more people to death this year.

Last night, Adami Wilson, a 48-year old Malawian national who was convicted for drug trafficking in 2004, was executed by firing squad in Jakarta. It was the first execution in Indonesia since November 2008.

The Indonesian Attorney General Basrief Arief said that the authorities planned to put at least a further nine death row inmates to death in 2013.

Amnesty International’s Indonesia Researcher Papang Hidayat, said:

“This is really outrageous news. We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, but Indonesia’s long period without executions and the pledge to put even more people to death, makes this even more shocking.

“This is an incomprehensible statement from the Attorney General – carrying out even more executions now would be hugely regressive. We urge the Indonesia government to immediately halt any plans to put more people to death.”

Adami Wilson was convicted of trafficking 1kg of heroin in 2004 in Tangerang, south-western Banten province.
Around 130 people are believed to be on death row in Indonesia – more than half of them have been convicted of drug trafficking. Many are foreign nationals, including 33-year-old Gareth Cashmore who was sentenced to death by firing squad for drugs offences in October, and 56-year-old British woman, Lindsay Sandiford, who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking offences on 22 January.

The use of the death penalty for drug-related offences does not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” as prescribed under international law.

Yesterday’s execution is the first in Indonesia in more than four years. The previous one happened on 9 November 2008, when three of the men involved in the 2002 Bali bombings were put to death.

Papang Hidayat added:

“What makes this so disappointing is that we have really seen the Indonesian government sending progressive signals on moving away from the death penalty in recent years.

“The last year has seen many other countries in the region, including Malaysia and Singapore, taking steps to limit the use of the death penalty, including for drug-related offences. We expected Indonesia to be leading this trend – not dragging the region backwards.”

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