Execution of Ghanaian on death row in Indonesia imminent

Martin AndersonThe Ghanaian man on death row in Indonesia for drug offences faces imminent execution by firing squad from the Central Java Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob).

The man, Martin Anderson has been transferred to Nusakambangan, the prison island in South Jakarta, where the first batch of drug-convict executions were held in January, some of them foreigners.

Cilacap Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna Jaya was quoted by Indonesian media as saying, “We are carrying out our duty to secure Nusakambangan and surrounding areas until the executions are over. We have posted more than 100 of our personnel in the waters off Nusakambangan.”

Anderson, also known as Belo, was convicted of possession of 50 grammes of heroin in Jakarta in November 2003. The South Jakarta District Court sentenced him to death in June 2004, and he is due to be executed with nine others including two Australians Myuran Sukumaran, and Andrew Chan, two Nigerians Okwudili Oyatanze, and Raheem Agbaje Salami. The others are Indonesian Zainal Abidin, French Serge Areski Atlaoui, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte and Filipino Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso.

The Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has rejected pleas for clemency from the convicts and other leaders.

Pleas for clemency for Brazilian Gularte on the grounds that he is mentally ill have also been rejected on the grounds that he was perfectly healthy when he committed the crime.

The president is reported to have vowed not to grant mercy to any other drug offenders because Indonesia is suffering a “drug emergency.”

With the convicts transferred to Nusakambangan, a date would be set for the executions, the Attorney-General’s Office was cited as saying, but the office is expected to give 72 hours notice.

Indonesia has strict drug anti-trafficking laws and routinely executes people convicted for drug offences.

A Daily Graphic report cites the deputy Foreign Minister of Ghana Thomas K. Quartey as saying that there is nothing the country could do for Anderson except to ‘wait and pray’.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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