Indonesia executes Vietnamese woman convicted of drug trafficking

Thanh Nien News

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Indonesian police stand guard as ambulances transport the bodies of executed drug convicts from Nusakambangan prison in Cilacap on January 18, 2014, as Indonesia carried out its first executions under new President Joko Widodo by firing squad on one local woman and foreigners hailing from Brazil, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria. Photo credit: AFP

A Vietnamese woman was among six drug convicts executed by a firing squad in Indonesia on Sunday morning.
Tran Thi Bich Hanh, 37, was shot in Boyolali, Central Java, while the other five on Nusakambangan Island, the Jakarta Post reported.
Tony Spontana, Attorney General’s Office spokesman, told the newspaper that one of Hanh’s death wishes was not to be handcuffed during the execution.
The Jakarta Globe reported earlier that she wished to be killed in her home country.
Hanh was sentenced to death in November 22, 2011 for smuggling drugs into Indonesia in nine different cases.
She was arrested at Adi Soemarmo in Boyolali while carrying 1.1 kilograms of methamphetamine in her body.
The other convicts were four men from Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria and the Netherlands, and an Indonesian woman who were convicted between 2000 and 2004.
Their bodies would be buried or cremated depending on the requests of their families or their embassies in Jakarta.
It’s not clear what is happening to Hanh’s. She had wished to be cremated, Spontana told the Jakarta Post.
The executions were the first for nearly 70 death-row drug convicts in Indonesia and the first under President Joko Widodo, who sworn in last October.
On December 30, he rejected all their appeals, including one from the Dutch government for their 52-year-old citizen Ang Kiem Soe and another from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for 53-year-old Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira.
Drug crimes in Indonesia are accused of killing 40 to 50 people in the country every year.
Widodo government has pledged to give no pardons to the drug convicts, and that they will execute at least 20 of them every year, despite criticism from international governments and human rights groups.
The executions sparked "diplomatic storm" from Brazil and the Netherlands, AFP reported.

The newswire quoted a spokesman for Brazilian President Dilma Roussef as saying that she was "distressed and outraged" after Indonesia defied her repeated pleas and put to death Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who was convicted of smuggling cocaine into Indonesia in 2004.

"Using the death penalty, which is increasingly rejected by the international community, seriously affects relations between our countries," AFP quoted the spokesman as saying in a statement.

Meanwhile Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the Netherlands had temporarily recalled its ambassador to Indonesia over the execution of Dutchman Ang Kiem Soei, and described all six deaths as "terribly sad" in a statement, according to the newswire.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte had been in contact with the Indonesian president on the matter, he said, and the government had done "all in its power" to attempt to halt the execution.

Le Hai Binh, spokesman for the Vietnamese foreign ministry, said Sunday that Hanoi had asked Indonesia "to ensure Vietnamese citizens' legal rights and consider reducing their sentences in a humanitarian way" since Hanh's arrest in 2011.

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