1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Indonesia puts six drug convicts to death

January 17, 2015

Indonesia has executed six people convicted on drug charges, despite international pleas for them to be spared. They are the first executions to take place under new President Joko Widodo.

Armed police officers and security personnel stand guard as a ferry carrying ambulances prepares to set off for Nusakambangan island where the executions of the five of six drug convicts will be performed, at Wijayapura port in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. Five foreigners and an Indonesian woman sentenced to death on drug charges will be executed by firing squad despite international pleas, Indonesian officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/Wagino)
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Wagino

Indonesia on Sunday put to death five foreigners and an Indonesian woman who had all been sentenced to death on drug charges, despite calls for a stay of execution from around the world.

The foreigners came from Brazil, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria. The executions were carried out by firing squad.

Indonesian authorities refused to heed all international requests for clemency. These included a last-minute appeal to President Joko Widodo by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to spare the life of her compatriot Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira.

"The enforcement of the death penalty, which is increasingly rejected by the international community, has grave consequences for the relations between our two countries," Rousseff said on Saturday local time after Moreira, 53, was executed despite her plea.

The Dutch government also made a last-minute plea for the life of its citizen, Ang Kiem Soei, 62, that was disregarded as well.

Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira
Ex-pilot Moreira was among those executedImage: AFP/Getty Images/B. Ismoyo

Both the Brazilian and Dutch governments recalled their ambassadors to Indonesia after the executions were carried out.

The others who died were Indonesian woman Rani Andriani, Nigerian Daniel Enemuo, Namaona Denis from Malawi, and a woman from Vietnam, Tran Thi Bich Hanh.

'Cruel and inhumane'

The European Union had earlier also urged Indonesia to halt the executions. Foreign policy chief Federica Mogerini called the plan "deeply regrettable," and described the death penalty as "a cruel and inhumane punishment that fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."

Amnesty International's research director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Rupert Abbott, said the executions were "a seriously regressive move," and called on Jakarta to halt plans for future ones. Indonesian authorities say 20 are planned for this year.

Indonesia, which has strict drug laws, ceased executing people in 2008, but began again in 2013, though 2014 saw no one put to death.

Widodo, who took office in October, has disappointed activists by his strong support for capital punishment despite promises to improve the human rights situation in his country. Last month, he rejected appeals for clemency from all those executed on Sunday.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to IndonesiaImage: Reuters/Darren Whiteside

His tough stance has raised concern about other foreigners facing a death sentence, including two Australians who were part of a group, dubbed the "Bali Nine," that tried to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005.

One of them, Myuran Sukumaran, also had his clemency appeal rejected last month, but his accomplice Andrew Chan is still waiting for the outcome of his.

tj/bw AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)