Today, eight people were executed in Indonesia for drug offenses ranging from transporting heroin to intent to distribute cannabis.
Despite repeated pleas for mercy from family members, human rights organizations, the United Nations, and government officials around the world, Nigerians Martin Anderson, Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, Raheem Agbaje Salami, Okwuduli Oyatanze, and Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Indonesian Zainal Abidin and Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte were killed by firing squad today, just past midnight in Indonesia’s timezone.
Serge Atlaoui from France, who was facing execution was given a temporary reprieve, and Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines was given a last-minute reprieve after it was discovered that she may have been framed.
“Indonesians should be ashamed of their government’s atrocity earlier today”, said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. ” The execution of these eight people for non-violent drug offenses will do nothing to reduce the availability of drugs in Indonesia or other countries, or protect people from drug abuse. All it demonstrates is the savagery of which governments are capable.”
He continues; “One can only hope that the eight will not have died in vain. The protests by foreign governments and international organizations and even the UN Secretary General were unprecedented, hopefully giving not just Indonesia but also China, Iran and other governments that execute people for non-violent drug offenses good reason to reconsider their inhumane policies.”
According to the United Nations, there are over 30 countries around the world that use the death penalty for drug-related crimes.