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Australia withdraws ambassador from Indonesia following drug prisoners’ execution


SomaNet News Archive

(By Estera Popowska)

Australia, which had requested the Indonesian government to cancel the executions, withdrew its ambassador from Indonesia in response to killing of two Australian drug prisoners , along with 6 others on Wednesday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott  reportedly condemned the executions as "cruel and unnecessary.”  In the same vein, the   Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly expressed deep regret and described the move as a "serious event" in bilateral relations. VOA reported Brazil’s foreign ministry as sayingit is evaluating ties with Indonesia before deciding what additional action it will take.

Early morning on Wednesday, Indonesia killed by firing squad, eight convicted drug traffickers, including seven foreigners, prompting strong condemnations from several countries.

Indonesia’s Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo, confirmed the killings definding  the move as necessary "to save the nation from the danger of drugs."

"We did it at 0035 local time and they were pronounced dead after 30 minutes, all shots were done perfectly. What I want to say is the second execution was carried out smoothly and in order, much better than the first round of executions [in January,]" Prasetyo  reportedly said.

“Execution is not exciting, is not a pleasant job. But in order to save this nation from drugs we should carry out the punishment. We did not do it against the states, we did it to combat drug crimes,” VOA quoted the Attorney General as saying.

The four Nigerians, two Australians, one Brazilian, and an Indonesian were killed in a forest on the prison island of Nusakambangan in Central Java, as family and supporters of the inmates gathered nearby at a tearful vigil.

A Philippine woman convicted of drug trafficking was also set to be killed with the others, but her life was temporarily spared at the last minute. She will get a chance to present further evidence after another woman allegedly involved in the plot surrendered to Philippine police.

Meanwhile, world leaders, including U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, and human rights groups from across the globe had warned Indonesia to not carry out the executions.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, has been a strong supporter of executing drug offenders, saying the country is facing a narcotics emergency. Indonesia has a mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking (VOA)