Ban Asks Indonesia to Spare Drug Convicts

Ban Asks Indonesia to Spare Drug ConvictsBan Asks Indonesia to Spare Drug Convicts

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has appealed to Indonesia to stop the planned executions of nine prisoners within days for drug-related crimes.

The United Nations opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in a statement, Ban’s spokesman said the secretary-general urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to “urgently consider declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in Indonesia, with a view toward abolition,” Al-Jazeera reported.

Meanwhile, diplomats and the families of nine foreigners convicted of drugs offences, including a French national, descended on a prison island on Saturday to plead for mercy as Indonesia prepared to send the accused before a firing squad.

Consular officials were arriving at a town near Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where its executions are carried out, and where all of the death row convicts are now congregated.

The foreigners — two from Australia, one each from Brazil, France and the Philippines, three from Nigeria and another West African whose citizenship is unknown—have all lost appeals for clemency from President Joko Widodo, who says that Indonesia is fighting a drugs emergency.

Two Australian drug convicts were notified on Saturday that they will be executed by firing squad within 72 hours, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.