Six people in Indonesia have been charged with being drug traffickers, and they are scheduled to be executed sometime this year. Those charged include five men and one woman.
The five men are all foreigners, but the woman is from Indonesia. The governments of those convicted are making attempts to get the executions canceled, but the country of Indonesia is not listening. So far, the governments of Brazil, Australia, and the Netherlands have tried to intercede.
Amnesty International is also calling for a halt to the proposed executions. The group is calling the action a human rights violation, and says that it will be a setback because the government has promised to improve giving people better human rights.
Each of the six people was moved to isolation cells on Saturday. The executions are scheduled to take place on Sunday and they will occur at the same time.
Two of the drug traffickers are from Australia, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. They are being held in Bali, and are currently not on the list of the 20 people who are scheduled to be executed at this time, but they could soon follow. The Australian government states that they will do everything in their power to save an Australian who is one of the six to be executed.
The prisoners had requested clemency, but they were rejected by President Joko Widodo last month. He declared that the law had been followed in each case and due process had been granted to them. The Attorney General, Muhammad Prasetyo, stated that drug dealers have no excuse. He wants the executions to have a “deterrent effect.”
Indonesia is a country that is well-known for dealing harshly with drug traffickers. Its laws are strict. The country currently has 138 people on death row, and most of them are there for offenses connected with drug dealing. About one-third of those on death row are citizens of other countries.
In December, the President had turned down appeals for clemency by 64 prisoners. All of them were drug cases and they are sentenced to death. He said that capital punishment is necessary because the country is in a state of emergency, because of drugs and people are dying every day.
The six convicted drug traffickers will be put before a firing squad, which is the method of execution used by Indonesia. They are all scheduled to die at the same time. They have all been moved to the Nusa Kambangan Island, which is considered to be their “Alcatraz.” It is patrolled by police and military to keep people away.
Each firing squad will consist of 12 people. Three of them will have live ammunition and the other nine will only have blanks. Each person to be executed will wear a target over the heart. The firing squad fires from between 15 to 30 feet away.
The people of Indonesia have grown in their support of executing drug traffickers. Polls show that 76 percent of Indonesians support the practice. The reason behind so many supporting it may be the fact that drugs is clearly influencing their daily lives and they see its negative effects.
By Mike Valles