Brazil, Netherlands recall Indonesia ambassadors after executions

Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors in Indonesia after the Southeast Asian nation ignored their pleas for clemency and executed six prisoners for drug offences on Sunday, the first executions under President Joko Widodo. The five foreigners and one Indonesian were killed by firing squad shortly after midnight, the Attorney General’s Office said. The foreigners were from Nigeria, Malawi, Vietnam, the Netherlands and Brazil. Brazil recalled its ambassador in Jakarta for consultations and said the executions would affect bilateral relations. The Netherlands, a former colonial power in Indonesia, also recalled its ambassador and condemned the execution of its citizen, Ang Kiem Soei.

President Dilma regrets deeply that this final request, made after several earlier ones, was not heeded by the Indonesian head of state. Using the death penalty, which is increasingly rejected by the international community, seriously affects relations between our countries.

A statement from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s spokesman

Earlier, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said she was “distressed and outraged” over the executions. Indonesia’s president, who signed off on the executions last month, has taken a tough stance on the rule of law and pledged no clemency for drug offenders. Indonesia resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap. “This is a country that just a few years ago had taken positive steps to move away from the death penalty, but the authorities are now steering the country in the opposite direction,” said Rupert Abbott, a Southeast Asia research director for Amnesty International.