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Indonesia executes 8 for drug smuggling

Tatan Syuflana Associated Press

CILACAP, Indonesia – Indonesia brushed aside last-minute appeals and executed eight people convicted of drug smuggling today, although a Philippine woman was granted a stay of execution.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo confirmed at a news conference hours after the deaths had been widely reported that each of the eight had been executed simultaneously at 12:35 a.m.; each by a 13-member firing squad. Medical teams confirmed their deaths three minutes later, he said.

“The executions have been successfully implemented, perfectly,” Prasetyo said. “All worked, no misses,” he said of the executions of two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian man.

Prasetyo earlier announced that Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso had been granted a stay of execution while the Philippines investigates her case.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Australia will withdraw its ambassador from Jakarta in response to the executions of two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31.

“These executions are both cruel and unnecessary,” Abbott told reporters.

He said it was cruel because Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had spent a decade in jail before being executed and “unnecessary because both of these young Australians were fully rehabilitated while in prison.”

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said in a statement the execution of a second Brazilian citizen in Indonesia this year “marks a serious event in the relations between the two countries.” Brazil had asked for a stay of execution for Rodrigo Gularte, 42, on humanitarian grounds because he was schizophrenic.

Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira was one of six drug convicts that Jakarta executed in January, brushing aside last-minute appeals from Brazil and the Netherlands.

Brazil and the Netherlands withdrew their ambassadors from Jakarta in protest of those executions.

London-based Amnesty International called on Indonesia to abandon plans for further executions.

“These executions are utterly reprehensible,” Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s research director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.

Sukumaran and Chan requested that their bodies be flown back to Australia. Nigerian Martin Anderson chose to be buried in the West Java town of Bekasi, and fellow Nigerian Raheem Agbaje wanted to be buried in the East Java town of Madiun where he had been a prisoner. Indonesian Zainal Abidin is to be buried in Cilacap.

The wishes of two other Nigerians – Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze – as well as those of Gularte, the Brazilian, have yet to be made public.

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