Pakistan Urges Indonesia to Delay Execution of Man Convicted of Drug Smuggling

Indonesia, which is among Southeast Asia's biggest markets for narcotics, has declared a "drug emergency" and vowed no mercy for drug traffickers. PHOTO CREDIT: Brookings

JAKARTA, July 25 – Pakistan on Monday urged the Indonesian government to stay the execution of one of its nationals convicted of smuggling drugs, citing concerns that his 2005 trial had been unfair.

Indonesia, which is among Southeast Asia’s biggest markets for narcotics, has declared a “drug emergency” and vowed no mercy for drug traffickers.

It provoked international outrage in April last year with the executions of eight drug traffickers, seven foreigners among them, following the 2013 end of a five-year temporary halt in the practice.

Indonesian authorities are preparing to execute by firing squad at least three foreign prisoners, including citizens of Nigeria and Zimbabwe, but they have not set a timeframe.

They are among 16 prisoners that Indonesian officials have said are to be executed this year.

“We are writing a letter to the Indonesian government to hold off on this execution because…our concern is that the trial was not fair,” Syed Zahid Raza, the charge de affaires at the Pakistani embassy in Jakarta, told Reuters.

The Indonesian attorney-general’s office had notified the embassy that Zulfikar Ali, convicted in 2005 for attempting to smuggle 300 grams (10.6 oz) of heroin, would be executed “in the near future” but no date had been set, Raza added.

Ali’s family has also been notified, he said.

Indonesian authorities have not given a breakdown of the number of foreigners who remain on death row, but citizens of France, Britain and the Philippines are known to be among them.

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