Amnesty International calls for end of secret executions in Indonesia

Nov. 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM
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JAKARTA, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The latest secret execution carried out in Indonesia represents a 'deplorable and retrograde trend," Amnesty International said Monday.

In a statement Monday, Amnesty International cited media reports that Muhammad Abdul Hafeez, 44, of Pakistan, was secretly executed by a firing squad early Sunday, becoming the fifth person put to death this year since Indonesia resumed executions in March. Another five individuals are believed to be facing execution soon, the rights group said.

"This latest death by firing squad highlights the deplorable and retrograde trend in Indonesia to shroud executions in secrecy. The complete lack of transparency is not only devastating for the individuals and their families; it can also prevent last minute appeals for a stay of execution," said Papang Hidayat, Indonesia researcher at Amnesty International.

Hafeez was arrested at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in June 2001 for allegedly smuggling nearly 2 pounds of heroin into Indonesia. He was sentenced to death in November 2001.

Hidayat urged the Indonesian officials not to carry out any more death sentences, which "fly in the face of the Indonesian government's commitment to uphold human rights. ... Any more executions would also further undermine the government's efforts to protect Indonesian nationals that face the death penalty overseas."

About half of the 130 people -- the majority of whom are foreign nationals -- on death row in Indonesia have been convicted of drug-related offenses, Amnesty International said.

The organization said at least eight people have been sentenced to death so far in 2013.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases.

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