Wednesday, April 20, 2016 9:45 am
Indonesian prison authorities have been told to prepare for another round of executions on the penal island of Nusakambangan almost a year after eight drug offenders – including four Nigerians and Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran- were killed by firing squad.
“We have been informed there will be one [execution round],” Molyanto, the head of the Central Java prison division, told Fairfax Media.
Local media reports quoted the chief of the Jakarta prosecutor’s office as saying 10 foreigners would be executed: four Nigerians, two Malaysians, two Americans, one Zimbabwean and one Senegalese.
There about 17 Nigerians on death row in the country. The authorities have not published any official list, but the local media have been publishing a list of their own.
However, the Nigerian embassy in Jakarta said one of the Nigerians being listed for execution by the local media was granted clemency in 2012 and had returned to Nigeria.
Prison aauthorities were anticipating more prisoners would be put to death this time and therefore an alternative execution site had been chosen on the island, known as Indonesia’s Alcatraz.
Fourteen prisoners, most of whom were foreigners, were killed in two separate rounds of executions in Indonesia last year, sparking an international backlash.
Several nations, including Australia, temporarily recalled their ambassadors in protest.
“The last execution site is too small for the next one,” Mr Molyanto said.
“Last time, it was next to Besi prison; this time, it will be next to Batu prison. We have construction in the area, therefore we will build the execution site along with it.”
He said no timeframe had been given and there was no official list of people to be executed.
President Joko Widodo has maintained the death penalty is necessary “shock therapy” to save Indonesia from the scourge of drugs.
However, until now, the Indonesian government has maintained a third round of executions would not be held until the economy improved.
Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo this week said he was hopeful a third round of executions would be held this year. He said a mix of foreigners and Indonesians would be put to death, all of whom would be drug offenders because “we are still at war with drugs”.
Asked how many would be executed, Mr Prasetyo said: “We are still studying [this] because we have to make sure who [is] still undergoing legal processes and who [has] exhausted their last legal avenue.”
Speculation has been mounting about a third round as the anniversary of last year’s executions on April 29 approaches.