Uncategorized Indonesians support executing drug smugglers

Indonesians support executing drug smugglers


President Joko Widodo
President Joko Widodo

(AA) – More than eight in ten Indonesians support President Joko Widodo’s stance on the death penalty for drugs traffickers, a survey has shown.

The poll from Jakarta-based Indo Barometer found more than 84 percent supported Widodo’s policy of refusing clemency to those convicted of smuggling drugs — allowing them to be executed by firing squad.

The results come after Indonesia executed six prisoners in January, including five foreigners, and as a further batch of 10 death row inmates await imminent execution on Nusa Kambangan prison island.

Among them are Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who had their appeals against Widodo’s refusal of clemency rejected Monday.

Indonesia ended a four-year moratorium on judicial killings in 2013.

Ecin Suciatin, 32, exemplifies the majority opinion among Indonesians. She has demonstrated at Nusa Kambangan, off the southern coast of Central Java, to call for the nine condemned men and one woman to be executed immediately, travelling for seven hours from her home in Tasikmalaya, West Java, by motorbike to make her point.

“One of my family is [a] drug user,” she told The Anadolu Agency on Tuesday, by way of explaining her support for the death sentence. She declined to explain further, saying the situation brought “shame” on her family.

“I hope no other family suffers because of the loss of their children or brothers,” she said.

Widodo’s policy has also received staunch support from the country’s two biggest Muslim organizations, the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah.

“We stand behind the president,” Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, told AA.

The survey, released Monday, interviewed 1,200 people from March 15-25 in all of Indonesia’s 34 provinces.

Nearly 61 percent supported the death sentence because they were concerned about the impact of drugs on young people while almost 24 percent said capital punishment would provide a deterrent effect.

Indo Barometer’s Executive Director Muhammad Qodari said international pressure and criticism of Widodo’s stance had stirred national sentiment among Indonesians, adding that the policy had contributed to the president’s increased popularity.

Aside from drug trafficking, 53 percent of respondents said they were in favor of the death penalty for corruption while 16 percent supported it for murderers and four percent thought it should be applied to sex offenders.

Benny Juliawan, of Sanata Dharma University, criticized the use of the death penalty, saying it was inconsistent with human values and was being used as a tool of vengeance.

He said: “Fighting evil with evil gives rise to another question — what is the difference between us and them [the criminals]? It will not solve the problem.”

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