By Ainur Rohmah
TUBAN, Indonesia (AA) – Indonesia’s attorney general announced Monday that authorities are planning to bring 18 drug convicts before the firing squad this year and 30 more in 2017.
"We have prepared a budget for [executing] the 18 [inmates] sentenced to death," detik.com quoted Muhammad Prasetyo as telling lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
The figure marked an increase from earlier expectations that 14 inmates who have exhausted their legal recourses would be executed this year, as had been the case in 2015.
The Attorney General also proposed a budget for executing 30 inmates in 2017.
"We want to keep giving a signal that we are fighting against drugs. The others [executions related to other offenses] can be implemented in the next stage," he said.
Prasetyo reiterated his earlier announcement that the next round of executions would be held in Nusakambangan prison island in Central Java after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday -- expected to fall on July 5 according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
He revealed that executions had been delayed this year due to the economic challenges faced by the country.
"The main cause [of delayed execution] is because of unstable economic sectors. So the economic sectors are our priority," he stressed.
Indonesia has some of the harshest anti-narcotic laws in the world, and President Joko Widodo declared a "drug emergency" last year, on the grounds that drug use reportedly kills around 40 to 50 people in the country each year.
Last year’s executions were heavily criticized by the international community, with some countries whose nationals had been put to death withdrawing ambassadors from Jakarta.