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23 July 2017

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06/14/2016 INDONESIA

Jakarta ready to execute 48 drug traffickers

In mid-July, after Ramadan, 18 death row inmates will be executed. Another 30 are set for early 2017. More and more young people are getting addicted to drugs. About 104,000 have died so far. Currently, 50 people die from overdose every day. The Indonesian Church is involved in rehab work, but lacks the facilities.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – In Indonesia, a third round of mass executions is set to take place. After several weeks of uncertainty, a date has been picked – mid-July – after Eid al-Fitr celebrations, which mark the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer.

Some 18 people convicted on drug trafficking charges will go before the firing squad. A fourth group of about 30 will follow in early 2017.

Indonesian Attorney General H. Muhammad Prasetyo described the 48 death row inmates as “prominent” drug traffickers. However, they are not alone. Another 152 have been sentenced to death on a variety of crimes, ranging from murder to terrorism.

Mr Prasetyo said that everything is ready for “the third round of executions in July 2016” on Nusakambangan Island. 

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has some of the strictest anti-drug laws in the world against what President Joko Widodo has called a "national emergency." Since he became president in 2014, Mr Widodo has boosted the all-out campaign against drugs.

Sixty-six people were executed between 1979 and 2015. In January 2015, five foreigners and an Indonesian woman were executed. In April, a second round of executions took place involving eight people, including two Australians, sparking international controversy. In this case, the authorities spared the life of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, a 30-year-old Filipina domestic worker sentenced to death for drug trafficking.

According to a recent report by Indonesia’s National Anti-drug Agency (BNN), more and more people are using drugs, especially amphetamines, a real plague for many countries in South-East Asia.

Making matters worse, the age of users is constantly dropping as drug traffickers target young people, which they see as a growth market.

Increasingly, drugs are being given out in sweets at schools and colleges to get people hooked with incalculable damages.

According to BNN estimates, some 5.1 million Indonesians are into banned substances, age ranging from 15 to 64. So far, 104,000 have died from illegal drug use, and more and more of them are young. Every day, 50 people die from an overdose, making drug abuse a national emergency.

In the past five years, 50.2 per cent of people in their 30s have experimented with drugs at least once. Most consumers are male (80 per cent).

In order to respond to the emergency, the Indonesian Church has launched targeted programmes of assistance and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

In June 2014, the Bishops' Conference established a pastoral plan against drug use, aimed at addicts, especially the younger ones.

Still, several issues remain unresolved, the first being the lack of rehab facilities. “As of today we have only 140 spots,” said Anastasia Cakunani, head of Yayasan Sekar Mawar Centre in the Diocese of Bandung. “That is not enough to meet the needs of so many victims."






See also

12/05/2016 14:18:00 INDONESIA
Jakarta: firing squads ready for 15 drug traffickers

No official date has been set, but death row inmates, five Indonesians and 10 foreigners, will be executed "in mid-May”. Mary Jane Veloso, a 30-year-old Filipina maid sentenced to death, was spared because her case is being prepared in the Philippines.



31/05/2016 14:08:00 MALAYSIA – INDONESIA
Indonesian migrant worker sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia

The accused was arrested in 2013 at Penang airport with four kilos of amphetamines in her suitcase. According to some activists, she is yet another victim of traffickers who exploit the desperation of migrant workers. She received the suitcase from people she did not know and was not aware of the content. At least 158 ​​Indonesian nationals are on death row in Malaysia.



04/08/2015 PHILIPPINES – INDONESIA
For Filipino bishop, Mary Jane Veloso is innocent; those who took advantage of her should be punished
The Filipino woman is in jail in Indonesia, convicted of drug trafficking. The death sentence still hangs over her. The president of the Episcopal Commission for the care of migrants told AsiaNews, “They used her, and robbed her of her innocence.” The Church will pray for her and protect her children. “We hope and we are convinced that Mary Jane will be spared the death sentence.”

29/04/2015 PHILIPPINES – INDONESIA
Filipino bishop calls Mary Jane an iconic figure for migrants, urges authorities to stop workers from leaving
The chairman of the Commission on Migrants told AsiaNews that he is happy for her reprieve. He urges the authorities to act and traffickers to stop. The prisoner left ‘execution’ island for Yogyakarta. Her alleged recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, turned herself in to the authorities who now can investigate.

29/04/2015 INDONESIA - PHILIPPINES
Jakarta halts Mary Jane’s execution. Her mother: "Miracles do happen". Other eight condemned are put to death
Joy and deep emotion for Celia Veloso, who had "lost hope". Approval of the archbishop of Jakarta and the spiritual father who accompanied the woman in her final moments. The turning point due to the fact that the person suspected of having recruited Mary Jane has been handed over to the Philippine authorities.


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