Indonesia defies global protests and executes four convicted of drug crimes

Four people convicted of drug crimes were executed on Friday as Indonesia defied widespread international protests. Indonesian Freddy Budiman and Nigerians Seck Osmane, Michael Titus and Humphrey Jefferson were shot dead by firing squad as torrential rains lashed the Nusa Kambangan prison island where they were held. Their deaths came amid doubts over the reliability of their convictions and a growing clamour from other countries as well as human rights groups. The government has now to decide the fate of 10 others, mostly foreigners, who are also on death row.

They felt they were targeted by the government of Indonesia only because they are Nigerians, only because they are Africans, and their governments did not do anything. They felt they became an easy target to execute.

Lawyer Ricky Gunawan, who represented Jefferson

The four men were tied to a post and shot in a jungle clearing on the remote island. One has already been cremated. Officials said the other ten executions were put on hold but would be carried out in stages. However, two people whose cases had raised high-profile international concern among rights groups were among those spared. Pakistani Zulfiqar Ali was beaten into confessing to the crime of heroin possession before his 2005 death sentence, say human rights groups. The other was Indonesian woman Merri Utami, who was caught with heroin in her bag as she came through Jakarta airport but claims she was duped into becoming a drug mule.

I can say that the four executed inmates had important roles either as kingpin, supplier, distributor, providers, and producer as well as importer and even acted as exporters of the drugs. They all have passed through all legal stages, including extraordinary appeals

Attorney-general Muhammad Prasetyo