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Jakarta Post

Jokowi wins support for capital punishment

The Jakarta Post
Jakarta   ●   Tue, February 24, 2015

Despite increasing protests overseas, President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo has won full political support at home for the government'€™s plan to execute 11 death-row convicts next month.

Ahmad Zainuddin, a member of the House of Representatives Commission I overseeing information, military and foreign affairs, said although he could understand the strong protest from several foreign countries, the government should stay firm on its execution plan.

'€œThe protests aired by Brazil and other countries can be understood because the previous government easily gave amnesty to drug convicts. The [present] government must be firm and should not be found weak. Do not give any chance [of amnesty],'€ he said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He said he was of the opinion that what Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff did to Indonesian Ambassador to Brazil Toto Riyanto was insulting to Indonesia.

He, however, called on the President not to be influenced by the incident and, instead, to go ahead with the execution plan.

'€œIndonesia'€™s stance should be in proportion with their stance. We should not show an exaggerated stance. I am sure Indonesia'€™s ties with other countries will remain fine,'€ he said.

Ahmad was referring to the government'€™s harsh response to Brazil'€™s rejection of Toto recently. Rousseff refused to receive Toto'€™s letter of credentials in response to the government'€™s firm stance on its plan execute 11 death-row convicts, including a Brazilian, in Nusakambangan, Central Java, next month.

The Netherlands, Australia and the UN have also voiced their objection to the capital punishment because of the 11 death-row convicts, two are Australians and one is a Dutch citizen.

Previously, Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Moeldoko said the military was prepared to maintain security at home, especially in areas around Nusakambangan Island, to support the government'€™s plan to execute the death-row convicts.

Separately, Hikmahanto Juwana, an international law expert from the University of Indonesia, called on the government to show its firm stance on capital punishment, saying that Rousseff'€™s action harassed Indonesia.

'€œThe government should not send Ambassador Toto Riyanto to Brazil until Brazil makes an apology,'€ he said.

According to him, it would be better for the government to keep the ambassadorial post in Rio de Janeiro vacant until the Brazilian government apologizes for its president'€™s actions.

'€œWhen Dilma cancelled receiving the letter of credentials, she was blending her personal feelings and her capacity as a president,'€ he said as quoted by kompas.com.

Both Nadhlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, Indonesia'€™s two largest Muslim organizations, have expressed their full support for the government executing all death-row convicts amid the country'€™s fight against drug trafficking. (rms)(++++)