UPDATE - Indonesia confirms 15 drug convicts to be executed

UPDATE - Indonesia confirms 15 drug convicts to be executed

Police say 10 foreigners among those being moved to island prison, with firing squads ready mid-May


By Ainur Rohmah

TUBAN, Indonesia (AA) – Indonesian police confirmed Tuesday that 15 drug convicts -- among them 10 foreigners -- are being moved to an island prison ahead of executions planned for mid-May.

Liliek Darmanto, Central Java regional police spokesperson, told Anadolu Agency by telephone that most of the 15 had arrived at Nusakambangan.

"According to the latest information, 15 people will be executed, five of whom are Indonesians, 10 foreigners," he said, based off information obtained from prosecutors.

Of the 10 foreigners, four are Chinese, one Pakistani, two Nigerian, two Senegalese, and one is from Zimbabwe, detik.com later quoted him as saying.

Darmanto would not specify the planned date of execution, but did say it would be sometime in the middle of this month.

Police have put together a 150-member firing squad team, with each inmate brought before 10 executioners.

Darmanto said firing squad members have been practicing and receiving special guidance from religious leaders to mentally prepare them to carry out the death sentences.

"Forces [executioners] are those who have had experience carrying out [executions] before," he said, adding that doctors had also been arranged to ensure that there were no complications.

Authorities had earlier said that the death penalties would be implemented after the rainy season, which ended last month, or after the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, set to start in early June and end in early July.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said in late April that the first group to be executed would include convicts who had exhausted their legal options.

He had revealed that a Filipina whose execution was delayed last year after her suspected recruiter surrendered to Philippine police would not be among the first round, as Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso’s case was ongoing in the neighboring country.

The executions last year were heavily criticized by the international community, with some countries whose nationals had been put to death withdrawing ambassadors from Jakarta.

Indonesia has some of the harshest anti-drugs laws in the world.

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