Indonesia ‘negligent’ in execution of Nigerian drug trafficker, watchdog says

The state watchdog for Indonesia said the government was negligent when it executed a Nigerian for drug trafficking last year.

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Indonesian Ombudsman Ninik Rahayu said Friday there had been “negligence and discrimination practiced by the Attorney General’s Office and the Supreme Court,” which resulted in Humphrey Jefferson’s execution in July 2016, reported the Jakarta Post.

Jefferson was in the process of appealing for clemency for his 2004 drug trafficking conviction, but Indonesian authorities ordered his execution, along with three others convicted of drug trafficking, despite his right to a second appeal under the country’s laws.
“The denial of due process to Jefferson raises troubling questions about Jokowi’s signature policy of executing convicted drug traffickers,” Human Rights Watch said in a response to Rahayu’s announcement.

Jefferson was arrested in 2003 for possessing 1.7 kilograms of heroin, which police found in the room of one of his employees at a restaurant he owned in Indonesia, according to Amnesty International. He said he confessed to possessing the heroin after being beaten and threatened with death if he didn’t sign papers taking responsibility for the crime.

After Humphrey’s conviction, the former owner of the restaurant Jefferson owned allegedly confessed to planting the drugs, but he died in prison while serving time for drug charges.

Jefferson’s first appeal was rejected in 2007, the same year the Indonesian government brought back the death penalty for drug trafficking.

Indonesia has been criticized for using the death penalty on drug traffickers. But Indonesia’s National Police Chief, Gen. Tito Karnavian, recently said his country’s harsh policies should be extended and praised by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for waging a “war on drugs” that has resulted in more than 7,000 deaths in the past year.

“From practice in the field, we see that when we shoot at drug dealers, they go away.” Karnavian said.

By Ray Downs