Thursday 18 January 2018

Anger as Indonesia executes eight foreigners by firing squad


Indonesia brushed aside last-minute appeals and executed eight people convicted of drug smuggling, including seven foreigners.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo confirmed hours after the deaths had been widely reported that each of the eight had been executed simultaneously at 12.35am local time by a 13-member firing squad.

Medical teams confirmed their deaths three minutes later, he said.

"The executions have been successfully implemented, perfectly," Mr Prasetyo said.

Two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian man were executed.

He had earlier announced that Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso had been granted a stay of execution while the Philippines investigates her case.

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott announced they will withdraw its ambassador from Jakarta in response to the executions of two of its citizens, Myuran Sukumaran (33) and Andrew Chan (31).

"These executions are both cruel and unnecessary," Mr Abbott said.

He said it was cruel because Chan and Sukumaran had spent a decade in jail before being executed and "unnecessary because both of these young Australians were fully rehabilitated".

Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff said the execution of a second Brazilian citizen in Indonesia this year "marks a serious event in the relations between the two countries".

Brazil had asked for a stay of execution for Rodrigo Gularte (42) on humanitarian grounds because he was schizophrenic.

Mr Prasetyo dismissed concerns that Indonesia had done long-term damage to foreign relations through the executions.

He said the message was "do not try to smuggle drugs in Indonesia, because we will be harsh and firm against drug-related crimes".

Michael Chan, brother of Andrew Chan, who became a Christian pastor during his decade in prison, reacted with anger.

"I have just lost a courageous brother to a flawed Indonesian legal system. I miss you already RIP my Little Brother," he tweeted.

The Sukumaran and Chan families, said: "In the 10 years since they were arrested, they did all they could to make amends, helping many others. They asked for mercy, but there was none."

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