Thursday, July 28, 2016 10:11 am
Nigerians will be among the 14 death row prisoners scheduled to be executed on Thursday in Indonesia.
A report in the The Guardian of UK indicated that preparations for the latest round of executions began on Thursday morning with families of inmates on death row been told to prepare for tonight.
Coffins were ferried to the prison island of Nusa Kambangan on where the execution will take place morning on Thursday morning, reports also indicated.
“The priest who assists Merri, he was told to prepare for tonight,” The Guardian quoted Gunawan, the director of the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH), which is representing Merri Utami,a former Indonesian migrant worker also on death row as saying.
Reports also indicated that advisers whp comfort and guidance to prisoners in their final hours – had also been issued with fresh name tags, allowing them access to the prison island the executions will be carried out.
The 14 prisoners on death row were convicted for drug related crimes. The death row prisoners including inmates from Nigeria, Pakistan, India and South Africa, and four Indonesians.
The inmates, 13 men and one woman have been moved to isolation holding cells in part of the country where the executions usually take place.
Reports also indicated that notice was given to prisoners on Tuesday that their executions were imminent.
Indonesia regulations however indicated that death row inmates must be given at least 72 hours’ notice before their execution.
A vigil has been planned in Jakarta on Thursday evening, where 1,000 candles will be lit in front of the state palace in peaceful protest.
Indonesia resumed executions in 2013 as a radical move to curb the growing drug problems in the country. Muhammad Rum, a spokesman for the attorney-general, said the executions were the “implementation of the country’s “positive laws” and would not be delayed. All the cases have gone through a long legal process including appeals, he said. “They all have been given chances at all stages.”
Indonesia Attorney General, HM Prasetyo confirmed on Wednesday that the third round of execution to be carried out since 2013 is approaching and 14 prisoners will be executed.
“If nothing’s has changed, there will be 14 people,” Prasetyo told reporters.
Amnesty International which has been very critical of the executions said at least 165 people are on death row in Indonesia, and more than 40% of those for drug-related crimes.
Nigerians of death row who may be executed today
Michael Titus Igweh
Titus was found guilty of possessing 5.8kg of heroin in 2002. At the time he was 23 years old. He was sentenced to death the following year. But he has repeatedly claimed his confession to the crime was obtained under torture.
He was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to death following discovery of 300g of heroin in a bag which belonged to him.
Okonkwo Nonso Kingsley
He was arrested at Polonia airport, in Medan, in 2003 with 1.1kg of heroin and sentenced to death in May 2004. The heroin was stored in dozens of capsules which were ingested by Kingsley had swallowed. The supreme court rejected a judicial review filed by Kingsley in November 2014.
Sibanda was arrested with three other nationals from Nigeria at Soekarno Hatta airport in 2001. Sibanda had arrived on a flight from Pakistan and had swallowed capsules of heroin. Sibanda was initially identified as a Zimbabwean national, as he was travelling on a forged passport.
Reports indicated that Nwajagu was sentenced to death after he was caught at an Ibis hotel trying to buy 45 capsules of heroin from a Thai national. He has been in prison since 2003. Nwajagu’s appeal for clemency has been rejected by the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo.