Temporary reprieve for Indian from Indonesian firing squad


    Jakarta/New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Indian national Gurdip Singh who was set to be executed by Indonesian authorities for drug smuggling has won a temporary reprieve as he was not among the four prisoners executed by a firing squad early on Friday in that country.

    Gurdip Singh was convicted along with 13 others and due to be executed at the Nusa Kambangan prison island.

    “Indian Ambassador in Indonesia has informed me that Gurdip Singh whose execution was fixed for last night, has not been executed,” Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Friday.

    India has urged for clemency for Singh and the Indian embassy officials had been in touch with the Indonesian authorities to press his case.

    Muhammad Rum, spokesman for Indonesia’s attorney general, told reporters outside the Nusa Kambangan prison that two Nigerians, one Senegalese and one Indonesian were executed at 12.45 a.m. on Friday in the midst of torrential rain.

    Rum said that authorities have not decided when the 10 other prisoners will be executed by firing squad.

    Petitions to review their cases had been denied.

    Those executed were Indonesian Freddy Budiman and Nigerians Seck Osmane, Michael Titus and Humphrey Jefferson.

    Relatives, rights groups and foreign governments had been urging Indonesia to spare the lives of the 14 convicts.

    It is not clear why the execution of the other 10 prisoners did not proceed.

    “Of course there are considerations for it,” was all Deputy Attorney General for Crimes, Noor Rachmad would say, theage.com reported.

    He said those who had been executed had filed for judicial reviews twice and both were rejected.

    A Pakistani national, Zulfiqar Ali, is also among the 10 whose execution did not take place.

    He was also convicted of drug-related charges.

    Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said in a Tweet that a last-ditch attempt by her father to convince Indonesian authorities to halt Ali’s execution proved effective “despite [a] bleak chance of success”, Dawn reported.

    Gurdip Singh was arrested on August 29, 2004, at the Soekarno Hatta Airport in Jakarta on charges of drug trafficking, for attempting to carry 300 grams of heroin.

    The Tangerang Court awarded him capital punishment in February 2005 against the prosecutors’ request for 20 years imprisonment.

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday called on Indonesia to promptly stop executions.


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