The Jakarta Post
The government has insisted that it will remain firm on its execution decisions but at the same time it is preoccupied with its constitutional obligations to save hundreds of Indonesians from the death penalty abroad.
Attorney General HM Prasetyo and Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly revealed on Tuesday that the government remained firm in its decision to execute 11 convicts, including eight drug traffickers. Prasetyo, however, revised his initial statement that executions would take place this month and Yasonna suggested that there would be a delay, as the government was preoccupied with more pressing domestic issues.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on the same day that the government would make every effort to save the lives of 229 Indonesians who are on death row abroad, mostly in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
'I've repeatedly said that the time [of the executions] has yet to be determined. [But] the location has. The location, Insya Allah [God Willing], is Nusakambangan,' Prasetyo said at the Presidential Office on Tuesday.
However, the attorney general refused to disclose the number and names of convicts who would be executed, stating that the Attorney General's Office (AGO) was making the final decisions. His office issued the names of 11 convicts last month, including three Indonesian murderers.
Prasetyo also declined to comment on the possibility that Jokowi might change his mind and spare the lives of the drug convicts, particularly the two Australians, who, according to their relatives, had been reborn and were completely different people than they were when they committed their crimes 10 years ago.
Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, reportedly among the 11 convicts to be executed, were part of the so-called Bali Nine group and were sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia in 2005
'I cannot say whether it might happen or not because it [granting clemency] is the prerogative of the President,' Prasetyo said. '[However] the President has said [he] would not grant such clemency. Moreover, at the current time, there is no change of plan.'
Last month, six convicts including five foreigners faced a firing squad in Nusakambangan and Boyolali, both in Central Java.
Amid mounting criticisms over the government's zero-tolerance policy on drug trafficking, Minister Yasonna suggested Monday that the government consider reexamining the decision to proceed with the executions.
On Tuesday, however, Yasonna firmly stated that the AGO would proceed with the executions, although he hinted at the possibility that the executions would be delayed while the government sorts out the conflicts between the National Police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
'I think 'reconsider' doesn't mean that there will be a cancellation of the executions ['¦] but I think maybe there will be a little delay,' Yasonna said.
The mothers of the two Australians have recently sought help from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to talk to Jokowi and related officials.
The commission chairman, Hafid Abbas, praised the government's early signal to reassess the execution plans.
'The government's revelation to even think to reconsider the execution plans is much appreciated,' Hafid said, apparently without realizing that Yasonna had changed his statement on Tuesday.
While speaking to reporters after attending a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Minister Retno quoted the President, saying that he ordered the provision of legal and consular aid for 229 Indonesians facing the death penalty abroad. Most of them were found guilty of homicide or drug trafficking.
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