Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations has asked Indonesian Pres. Joko Widodo to stop the scheduled execution of its 10 convicted drug-smugglers to include overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso.
“Under international law, if the death penalty is to be used at all, it should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, namely those involving intentional killing, and only with appropriate safeguards,” Ban said.
Indonesia has set April 28 as execution date to the 10 convicts, despite international appeal.
Yet in a statement, Ban reminded Widodo that “drug-related offenses generally are not considered to fall under the category of ‘most serious crimes’.”
As UN opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, Ban appealed to Widodo, who is a member of the UN Human Rights Council, “to urgently consider declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in Indonesia, with a view toward abolition.”
Human Rights Watch earlier criticized the stubborn stance of Widodo on death penalty to drug convicts, saying “Indonesia’s use of the death penalty is inconsistent with international human rights law.”
“Human rights law upholds every human being’s ‘inherent right to life’ and limits the death penalty to ‘the most serious crimes,’ typically crimes resulting in death or serious bodily harm,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Last Friday, Indonesia has moved the 10 prisoners to Nusa Kambangan Island in Java where their execution though firing squad is most likely to happen.
It had already given 72-hour notice for execution to embassy officials and families of the convicts who are citizens from Brazil, Australia, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Philippines.