Families granted last visits as executions loom

Families were granted last visits on Thursday as executions loomed for 14 people on death row for drug trafficking in Indonesia, a lawyer said.

The convicts could face a firing squad at the Nusa Kambangan prison complex off the coast of Java at midnight Thursday, said Antonius Badar Karwayu, who represented two of the convicts.

“The families have been notified that there would be executions and the convicts had been asked for their last wishes,” Karwayu said.

“Their families were given until 3 pm today to visit them so it’s likely that the executions would be carried out tonight,” he said.

The Attorney General’s office has not announced a date for the executions but spokesman Muhammad Rum confirmed that 14 convicts would be executed “soon” and that they included Freddy Budiman and Merry Utami – both Indonesian – and Pakistani Zulfikar Ali.

“I have only been informed of those three names,” he said.

The Community Legal Aid Institute, which advocates for the convicts, said the convicts facing execution were four Indonesians, six Nigerians, two Zimbabweans, one Indian and one Pakistani.

Local and international human rights groups have urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to halt the impending executions.

Last year Indonesia executed 14 death-row convicts in a move that drew criticism from the United Nations and the European Union.

About 121 people are currently on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mainly for drug-related crimes, according to the Indonesian Justice Ministry.

President Joko has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking since his election in 2014, saying the country is facing a drug emergency.

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