Rights group flays execution of two Nigerians by Indonesia

Setback in fight to abolish death penalty, says French body

HUMAN Rights Agenda Network (HRAN), an amalgamation of about 303 civil society organizations has condemned the execution of two Nigerian citizens, Solomon Okafor and Daniel Enemuo for drug related offences in Indonesia on 18th January 2015.

Also, international human rights body, Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France) yesterday flayed the execution, describing it as a setback in the global fight to abolish the death penalty.

ASF France said through its Head of Operations in Nigeria, Angela Uwandu that, “it is deeply disturbed by this event especially in view of the fact that the Nigerian government and the National Assembly made several pleas for clemency which were bluntly ignored by the Indonesian government.”

   The Indonesian Government executed six people convicted of drug offences including foreigners, who were from Nigeria, Brazil, the Netherlands, Vietnam, and Malawi.

   The executions mark the first time capital punishment has been carried out under the new president, Joko Widodo, who took office in October 2014. He signed off the execution last month and pledged no clemency for drug offenders, despite pleas from European Union, the Brazilian Government and Amnesty International.

   The group in a statement by its chairman, Chino Obiagwu said even though the government has executed those people, twelve more Nigerians are currently on death row in Indonesia for drug trafficking offences and called on the government of Indonesia to halt further executions.

   “HRAN calls on the Indonesian government to halt the pending executions of Nigerian citizens and urges the Nigerian Government to hasten the Prisoners Transfer Agreement with the Indonesian Government to enable the Nigerian death row inmates in Indonesia to serve their prison term in their home country”, the group said.

   It also called on the Nigerian Government to emulate their counterparts, Brazil and Netherlands and recall the Nigerian Ambassadors to Indonesia as a mark of protest.

According to ASF, “the disheartening news of the execution of two Nigerian nationals by the Indonesian government on January 18, 2015 represents a setback in the global fight to abolish the death penalty. Both men were among the six persons who were executed by firing squad in Indonesia on drug related charges.”

“The death penalty has not been shown to deter crimes more than other forms of punishment, therefore its application regardless should be interpreted as a blatant disregard for human life and therefore, a violation of the right to life.

“The death penalty is especially cruel, inhuman and degrading”. Uwandu noted.

  ASF France therefore urged the Nigerian government to intensify its efforts towards retracting the 12 Nigerians on death row in Indonesia who still face the risk of death. 


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