The Republic of Indonesia has executed by firing squad three Nigerians and a local convicted of drug trafficking in the early hours of Friday, leaving the fate of 10 others uncertain, an official said.
The Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes, Noor Rachmad, who confirmed the execution, did not however state why 10 other drug convicts, who had been expected to face the firing squad, were not executed.
It was learnt that the four persons were shot by firing squad during a thunderstorm shortly after midnight on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java, as the government ignored international calls for clemency and pushed ahead with what it considers a war on drugs.
Rachmad had on Wednesday disclosed that 14 prisoners, including citizens of India, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, would be executed this weekend.
An official also revealed on Friday the planned executions would go ahead “in stages” but declined to give a timeframe.
Security presence was beefed up at the Indonesian embassy in Nigerian capital Abuja on Thursday as protesters gathered to urge Indonesia to halt the executions. Indian and Pakistani officials said they were making last-minute efforts to save their citizens.
“We considered several factors and decided that for now four death row inmates would be executed,” Noor Rachmad, an official at the attorney general’s office, told reporters shortly after Friday’s executions.
Barely a year ago, Indonesia executed 14 prisoners, mostly foreign drugs offenders, causing diplomatic outrage.
Indonesia had an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty between 2008 and 2012 but resumed executions in 2013 under Widodo’s predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.