A foreign embassy official in Jakarta has confirmed that Indonesia is rounding off arrangements to execute several foreign drug convicts, including four Nigerians today.
The official said some diplomats of the countries of the affected convicts had been requested to travel to Nusakambangan, the prison island off Java (pictured), where the inmates are to be executed.
A government official also said that authorities had ordered preparations for the execution of 10 death-row inmates, including two Australians who have been the subject of a high-profile campaign for clemency.
Tony Spontana, spokesman for the attorney-general’s office, confirmed that a letter issued on Thursday by a deputy attorney-general, told prosecutors to “prepare for and carry out the executions”.
“It’s not a letter of notification to the convicts”, he said.
He said convicts are typically notified of their executions three days in advance.
Spontana said the 10 inmates would all be executed at the same time.
He said the other drug inmates facing execution are four from Nigeria, and one each from Indonesia, the Philippines and Brazil.
Spontana said one convict, Martin Aderson, first identified by officials as Ghanaian, is actually from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the European Union has criticised Indonesia’s plans to execute the convicts, saying the death penalty is not a solution to the country’s growing drug problem.
A French citizen, Serge Atlaoui, is among the inmates facing the firing squad.
Federica Mogherini, EU Foreign Policy Chief, said Indonesia’s rejections of retrials, including in the case of a French citizen, bring closer the regrettable prospect of further executions.
The governments of the Philippines, France and Brazil have also appealed to Indonesia President Joko Widodo to show mercy and spare their respective citizens.
The group, mainly made up of foreigners from Australia, France, Nigeria, Brazil and the Philippines, will be executed simultaneously, according to the attorney general’s office. Pleas for leniency from their families and diplomats have been rejected by President Joko Widodo.
But who are the prisoners and how did they end up on death row?
Sukumaran, 33, is an Australian citizen, born in London. In 2006, a court in Bali found him guilty of being the ringleader of the Bali Nine – a group of Australians arrested in Bali with more that 18lb (8.3kg) of heroin. He was given the death penalty in 2006, and his plea for clemency was rejected in December 2014. His advocates claim he has reformed since entering prison and now runs Bible study classes and a cookery school in Bali’s Kerobokan jail. However, all subsequent attempts to appeal his sentence, have failed. His brother Chinthu Sukumaran, told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I can’t believe this is it. We still haven’t given up hope.”
Chan, 31, is an Australian who was given the death penalty along with Myuran Sukumaran. He was arrested in Ngurah Rai airport in Bali in April 2005 and a court found him guilty of planning the smuggling of 18lb heroin with the group known as the Bali Nine. His plea for clemency was rejected in January 2015. Like Sukumaran, other legal challenges have all failed. His supporters also claim he has turned over a new leaf and taken up art classes in prison.
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso
Veloso, 30, is from the Philippines. She was arrested in Yogyakarta airport in April 2010. A court found her guilty of attempting to smuggle 5.7lb of heroin and she was given the death penalty in October 2010. She said she flew to Indonesia because a family friend had promised her a job as a maid. She claims the woman was working with an international crime gang and had secretly placed the heroin in a suitcase she was carrying. Veloso filed a judicial review to the Supreme Court and is awaiting a decision. She was transferred to the maximum security prison on Nusakambangan on Friday morning. Her two sons, aged six and 12, have travelled to spend her final hours with her.
Serge Areski Atlaoui
Atlaoui is a French citizen, born in December 1963. The married father-of-four was arrested by Jakarta police at a house in Banten province dubbed the “ecstasy pills factory” by local media. A court found him guilty in 2007 of trafficking 551lb of hallucinogens and 306lb of methamphetamines. He was initially sentenced to life imprisonment and then upon appeal the Supreme Court sentenced him to death by firing squad. His clemency appeal was rejected in December 2014. Atlaoui has filed a judicial review against his death sentence and says he has new evidence to show that he is innocent. He claims he travelled to Indonesia to work as a technician in a factory installing some equipment. France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius repeated calls for clemency in a tweet (in French) in April.
Anderson is a Ghanaian citizen, born in London in 1964. He was arrested in Jakarta in 2003, and a court gave him the death penalty. His clemency was rejected in January 2015. Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin Badarudin is the only Indonesian citizen amongst the group. He was born in Palembang and was found guilty of the possession of 129lb of marijuana. He was arrested in December 2000 and a year later was given the death sentence. His clemency was rejected in January 2015. He has filed a judicial review and is awaiting a decision.
Raheem Agbaje Salami
Salami appears to be a Nigerian holding a Spanish passport. He is believed to be Jamiu Owolabi Abashin, but entered Indonesia using a Spanish passport with the name Raheem Agbaje Salami. Salami was caught with 11lb of heroin inside his suitcase in Surabaya airport on 2 September 1998. A court in Surabaya gave him a life sentence in April 1999, which was reduced by the High Court to 20 years. Salami appealed and the Supreme Court gave him a death sentence. His clemency application was rejected on 5 January 2015. He tried to challenge the rejection of his clemency but the challenge failed and he is in the process of an appeal.
Gularte is a Brazilian citizen born on 31 May 1972. A court in Banten gave him the death penalty in February 2005 on charges of possessing 13.2lb of heroin that was hidden in a surf-board. He was arrested in July 2004 in Sukarno Hatta airport in Jakarta. His clemency application was rejected in January 2015. His planned execution has raised concern among activists because his family claims that Gularte has mental health problems. Under Indonesian law, mental health patients cannot be prosecuted and must be cared for in a psychiatric hospital. The government of Indonesia is waiting for the results of a mental health assessment which will help to determine Gularte’s condition.
Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise
Nwolise is a Nigerian citizen born on 7 July 1965. He was sentenced to death in September 2004 by a court in Tangerang. His clemency appeal was rejected in February. The court found him guilty of trafficking 2.6lb of heroin via Sukarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta in 2002. In January 2015 the Indonesian National Narcotics Body said that Sylvester was running a drugs ring in Nusakambangan jail, where he is being held.
Oyatanze is a 45-year-old Nigerian citizen, and was given the death sentence by the Tangerang court for trafficking 2.4lb of heroin through Sukarno Hatta airport in 2001. His clemency was rejected in February 2015.