Indonesian president vows no pardon for drug traffickers on death row
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has pledged there will be no pardons for drug traffickers on death row, including several foreigners.
His statement drew criticism from rights groups on Wednesday (Dec 10).
Two Australian drug smugglers, part of the “Bali Nine” group caught trying to smuggle heroin, are on death row as well as a British grandmother arrested for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country.
The Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, lodged an appeal for clemency with Indonesia’s previous president, their last chance to avoid the firing squad after their final court appeals were rejected.
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford, sentenced to death last year, has lost her final appeal in court.
It is not clear whether she has yet lodged a request for a presidential pardon.
But Mr Widodo, who took office in October, insisted that the 64 people on death row for trafficking drugs would face the firing squad, dashing hopes he would take a softer line on capital punishment.
“There is no pardon for this matter,” he told an audience of students late on Tuesday in Yogyakarta in central Java.
“I think we are aware that Indonesia is in a state of emergency due to drugs.”
But Ms Roichatul Aswidah, from the National Commission on Human Rights, criticised Widodo’s statement as “unexpected”.
“The right to life is a non-negotiable right that must not be limited for any reason,” she was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post newspaper.