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Indonesia – Halt the new round of executions in Indonesia for drug-related offenses

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São Paulo, July 27th 2016



His Excellency

President Joko Widodo

Istana Merdeka

Jakarta 10110

Republic of Indonesia



 Ambassador Toto Riyanto, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in Brasilia, Brazil
Ambassador Yusra Khan, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in Mexico City, Mexico
Ambassador Rizali Wilmar Indrakesuma, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in New Delhi, India
Ambassador Suprapto Martosetomo, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia in Pretoria, South Africa
Ambassador Harry Purwanto, Ambassador of the republic of Indonesia in Abuja, Nigeria
Ambassador Rubem Antonio Correa Barbosa, Ambassador of Brazil in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia
Ambassador Federico Salas, Ambassador of Mexico in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia
Ambassador Nengcha Lhouvum Mukhopadhaya, Ambassador of India in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia
Ambassador Pakamisa Augustine Sifuba, Ambassador of South Africa in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia
Chargés d’affaires
Embassy of Nigeria in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia


Re: Halt the new round of executions in Indonesia for drug-related offenses


Your Excellency,

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, Commonwealth human Rights Initiative, Conectas Human Rights and Partnership for Justice, and the – Global South-based human rights non-governmental organisations – want to take this opportunity to express our grave concern for the impending round of executions of Indonesian and foreign nationals, convicted in Indonesia for drug-related offenses.

Our organizations are critically vocal against the use of capital punishment worldwide, irrespectively of the nature of the crime and the nationality of those facing execution.  Our organizations are also committed to denouncing the inefficient and highly repressive practices and policies most States have been employing to tackle drug trafficking.

The two previous rounds of executions in Indonesia, that took place in 2015, have already sparked wide and strong international condemnation, from civil society-based rights-groups to international organisations such as the United Nations itself. Your government’s intention to proceed with a third round, as recently acknowledged by Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo, is highly disconcerting, for at least three reasons:

Firstly, there appears to be a great lack of transparency. Despite having already transferred some death row convicts to Nusakambangan, the Indonesian government has provided very little information on the official death list to the public, which is in direct violation of the Indonesian people’s right to information and the Public Information Accessibility (KIP) act.

Secondly, we are greatly concerned about the arbitrariness of the process leading up to the executions.  Previous rounds of executions have already highlighted to the world the unfair and arbitrary nature of trials against inmates sentenced for drug-related offenses in Indonesia. We add our voices to the numbers of international critics against your use of capital punishment against underage children and people with mental illness, as well as the lack of access to justice, including proper legal aid and the right to clemency, to those accused of drug-related offenses. Your actions constitute a violation of the right to fair trial, and the right to life.

Thirdly, we are concerned about the continued use and implementation of the death penalty in Indonesia, which is unjust, unfair and inefficient. Studies from across the world have shown that capital punishment is counter-productive, as it do not curb crime rates, completely disproportionate to drug-related offenses, and does not have a place in the modern world or in vibrant democracies, such as Indonesia asserts itself to be. As we have witnessed in our own countries, repressive responses to drug-related issues have failed, only fueling a cycle of violence, suffering and injustice. Recent discussions in several United Nations bodies, including Geneva, Vienna, and the 2016 General Assembly Special Session on drugs, take a similar tone and are strongly challenging the validity of repressive approaches to drug-related problems. It is time for Indonesia to change.

On behalf of all those who, in Global South based democracies, stand up for the right to life and to fair trial, we respectfully urge you and your government to halt all pending executions and to establish a general moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

Several Indonesian nationals are facing the death row in countries like Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. For many years, Indonesian government has been extremely active in fighting for their clemency. We expect no double standards when it comes to foreign nationals in Indonesia. Moreover, a deliberate choice of executing foreign nationals from countries –  that like Indonesia, still make use of death penalty – will hardly soften international diplomatic pressure. Such an unjust, unfair, and inefficient policy goes against the democratic values we all stand for, and will not make Indonesia safer.

Is time for the world to give better and fairer solutions to drug-related social problems, we urge you to be part of this change.


Yours sincerely

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Center for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria – South Africa

Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos – México

Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

Conectas Human Rights – Brazil

Partnership for Justice – Nigeria


To download a PDF version of this letter, please click here.