4 Nigerians to be executed by Indonesian government for drug offences (Photo)

Michael Titus Igweh among the 4 Nigerians facing execution in Indonesia
Michael Titus Igweh among the 4 Nigerians facing execution in Indonesia

Four Nigerians along with other foreigners will be executed by the Indonesian government for drug related offences. This is coming despite protests by rights groups condemning the government’s decision to execute the individuals this week.

Fourteen prisoners are listed for execution, among them four Nigerian nationals, including Humphrey Ejike Jefferson and Michael Tutus Igwe, a Pakistani, one Indonesian woman, a Chinese, and Taiwanese nationals.

AFP reports that the group of drug convicts will face firing squad in Indonesia this week, authorities in the country said. Syed Zahid Raza, the deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, told AFP the convicts, who include a Pakistani, could be executed around midnight Friday after officials signalled the start of a 72-hour notice period at a meeting with diplomats.

Nationals from Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are expected to be executed alongside Indonesians. Officials say no Europeans or Australians will be included in the third round of executions under President Joko Widodo.

According to Samantha Hawley, Indonesia bureau chief and former Southeast Asia corro Australian Broadcasting Corporation said that the Nigerian embassy has been told to visit 4 nationals on death row in Cilacap tomorrow morning.

However, Rights groups have also called on Indonesia to halt the planned executions, citing worries about irregularities with some convictions.

In a statement, Amnesty International urged “the country’s authorities to halt all executions and to take immediate steps to ensure that the cases of all those under sentence of death are reviewed by an independent and impartial body”.

An AFP report revealed that authorities have been making preparations, with death row drug convicts transferred to Nusakambangan prison island, where Indonesia puts convicts to death, and 14 prisoners reportedly placed in isolation, an usual step before executions.

About 1,500 police were being deployed around Cilacap, the town closest to Nusakambangan, visitors have been barred for a week and Muslim and Christian spiritual counsellors were seen crossing to the island.

Raza said Indonesian officials had informed diplomats from several countries and lawyers of the notice period at Tuesday’s meeting in Cilacap.

He said officials did not mention a precise date or time for the executions but added: “It might be Friday at midnight.”

It is a legal requirement in Indonesia to give a minimum notice period of 72 hours before executions. Authorities typically carry out executions just after midnight following the end of the notice period.

The attorney general’s office, which oversees executions, would not confirm any details but spokesman Mohammad Rum said: “The time is approaching.”

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