Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he would personally ask the police to shoot drug traffickers summarily if the law allowed it.
His remarks came as the country is preparing to execute convicts on death row for drug offences.
“Hit them, clobber them,” Jokowi said on Sunday, according to a statement released by the Cabinet Secretariat on its website, referring to drug traffickers.
“If the law allowed, shoot them,” he said. “Fortunately the law doesn’t allow it, otherwise I would personally order the National Police chief and the National Narcotics Agency chief [to do it],” he said in a speech marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Jokowi said drugs had penetrated all levels of society and about 50 Indonesian youths died every day because of drug abuse.
“One again, I reaffirm that it’s time for a war on drugs,” he said.
Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said his office planned to execute 16 drug convicts on death row after the Eid-al-Fitr Muslim holiday, which falls on July 6.
Last year, Indonesia executed 14 convicts, all but two of them foreigners, in a move that drew international condemnation.
At least 121 people are currently on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mostly convicted of drug-related crimes, according to the Justice Ministry.
They include Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines, Lindsay Sandiford from Britain and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui.
Under Indonesian law, each convict would face a firing squad of 10 gunmen.
Jokowi, who took office in 2014, has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, saying that the country is facing a drug emergency.