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Indonesia sees executions after Ramadan; Filipina’s fate hangs

/ 01:03 PM June 14, 2016
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Mary Jane Veloso. AFP FILE PHOTO

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia plans to put 16 convicts to death after next month’s Muslim Eid holiday, an official said Tuesday, confirming executions were set to resume after a hiatus.

The death row convicts will be executed “immediately after” the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Mohammad Rum, a spokesman for the attorney-general’s office, told AFP, but he did not give a precise date.

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Nothing was said about the possible fate of Filipina Mary Jane Veloso and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who were both spared in the last executions.

READ: Mary Jane Veloso gets new lease; lawyer relieved | Mary Jane Veloso says she’s a ‘new person’

Ramadan ends with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which falls in Indonesia on July 6 and 7.

Rum did not say who would face the firing squad, but Indonesia has been waging a campaign against narcotics and in 2015 executed 14 drug convicts, mostly foreigners, sparking international outrage.

There have been no executions since April last year, with Indonesia saying it was pausing capital punishment to focus on fixing its slowing economy. 

“We could not do it earlier because the government was trying to improve our economy, but now we will take some action after Eid,” Rum said.

Rum said the convicts would likely be put to death by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan, off Java, where executions are usually carried out.

There are scores of drug convicts on death row in Indonesia, among them foreigners including Atlaoui and Veloso.

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford is on death row in Bali after she was caught smuggling a huge stash of cocaine into the resort island.

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President Joko Widodo declared a war on drugs when he took office in 2014, saying that the country was facing an emergency due to rising narcotics use and traffickers should be severely punished.

There were two rounds of executions last year. The second round in April, which saw two Australians, a Brazilian and four Nigerians put to death, caused the most serious diplomatic backlash.

Following the executions of the Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Canberra temporarily recalled its ambassador from Jakarta.

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TAGS: Capital Punishment, Eid al-Fitr, Features, Indonesia, Mary Jane Veloso, Ramadan
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