Human Rights Commissioner Christoph Strässer on the imminent executions in Indonesia

27.04.2015 - Press release

Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement on 27 April regarding the imminent executions of up to ten people in Indonesia:

I am deeply concerned about the plans of the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office to carry out a further ten executions for drug‑related offences. I once again call on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to lift the death sentences and to commute them to sentences of imprisonment.

I respect Indonesia’s sovereignty as well as the efforts of the Indonesian Government to apply existing laws. However, Indonesia is bound by its international obligations, including those under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The UN Human Rights Committee stated on 2 April that the imposition of the death penalty for drug offences is not permissible under this convention.

Current reports have shown us yet again that the judiciary is not infallible in any country. The imposition of the death penalty makes it absolutely impossible to reverse any miscarriages of justice. Against this background, too, the German Government urges the Indonesian Government to stop the executions.

The German Government rejects the death penalty under all circumstances and is pushing for the worldwide abolition of this cruel and inhuman punishment. An increasingly number of states in all regions of the world have already abolished the death penalty or refrain from carrying it out. By announcing these executions, Indonesia stands in opposition to a vast majority of the international community.

Background information:

The Indonesian Attorney General’s Office has announced that up to ten further executions will be carried out in the coming days. Indonesian criminal law provides for the death penalty for crimes such as murder, terrorism and trafficking illegal drugs. Indonesia’s constitution gives the President the right to grant clemency to those who have been sentenced to death.

No death sentences were carried out in Indonesia between 2009 and 2012. Six people, including five non‑nationals, were executed on 18 January 2015.

The German Government has repeatedly made clear its rejection of the death penalty and called on the Indonesian authorities to stop all planned executions and to introduce a moratorium. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, last reaffirmed the position of the EU and its member states on 23 April 2015.

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