"Incomprehensible" why Indonesia refused to grant clemency

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UN Photo/Martine Perret

Indonesia's decision to execute eight people sentenced to death for drug smuggling has been described by the UN human rights office (OHCHR) as "incomprehensible".

In a statement on Wednesday, OHCHR said Indonesia appeals for clemency when its own nationals face execution in other countries, for crimes that have been considered more "serious".

Yet, the country proceeded with the executions of seven foreigners and one Indonesian for what the UN has called "lesser crimes".

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The eight people executed had been sentenced to death for drug offenses.

Four Nigerians, two Australians, one Brazilian and one Indonesian were reportedly shot by firing squad in a prison on Tuesday.

OHCHR said it is "extremely regrettable and extremely sad" that these people have been deprived of their lives.

It recalled that under international law, if the death penalty is to be used at all, it should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, essentially those involving intentional killing.

Drug-related offenses are not considered to fall under this category.

The UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and other key United Nations entities had urged Indonesia on numerous occasions not to proceed with the executions.

The UN human rights office said on Wednesday it is appealing once again to Indonesia to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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