Thursday, 28 July 2016

Indonesia rejects plea to halt execution of Indian convict

Even as India is making last ditch effort to save Indian national Gurdip Singh from execution, Indonesia today rejected appeals of international community to halt the execution of 14 drug convicts hailing from different countries including India and Pakistan. The group, including Gurdip Singh, Pakistani national Zulfiqar Ali and citizens of Nigeria and Zimbabwe as well as Indonesia, have been placed in isolation on a prison island
where Jakarta carries out executions. As speculation mounted they could face the firing squad in a matter of hours. Authorities stepped up preparations with ambulances carrying coffins seen crossing over to Nusakambangan island. Families of inmates have also been told to prepare for executions tonight. In a tweet late on Wednesday night, Swaraj said: “We are making last minute efforts to save him (Singh) from execution on 28 July.” She said in another tweet Singh was “facing death sentence in a drug case”. Singh, 48, was found guilty of trying to smuggle 300 grams of heroin into Indonesia in 2004 and was sentenced to death by a state district court at Tanggerang in Banten province in February 2005. He was given the death sentence even though prosecutors had recommended a 20-year jail term for Singh, who is also known as Vishal and belongs to Jalandhar in Punjab.  Syed Zahid Raza, the deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, said the family of a Pakistani man on death row, Zulfiqar Ali, had also been informed that he would be executed on Thursday night. Ali's family carried out a protest in Lahore on Wednesday against his imminent execution.Jakarta faced accusations of breaking its own laws by apparently planning to hold the executions on Thursday.

Human rights groups argue that many of the cases of prisoners on death row in Indonesia – including some of the 14 facing execution this week – are marked by questionable and inhumane practices, including beatings, torture and forced confessions.

Indonesia last carried out executions in April 2015 when it put to death eight drug convicts, including two Australians, sparking international outrage.

Indonesia rejects plea to halt execution of Indian convict

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