Taiwanese Risk Death Penalty in Indonesia amid War on Drugs

Taiwanese Risk Death Penalty in Indonesia amid War on Drugs
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Compiled and translated by Chang Shin-wei

Three Taiwanese charged with drug trafficking in Indonesia may face the death penalty as a crackdown on drugs across the archipelago continues.

On May 20, three Taiwanese men were arrested after Indonesian police found 60 kilograms of methamphetamine, commonly known as ice or crystal meth.

An Indonesian official said the drugs were produced in China, hidden in large electricity generator and shipped to Indonesia. Police say they have arrested another man related to the case.

UDN reports, based on previous similar cases in Indonesia, the men will likely face the death penalty. In late January, three Taiwanese men were sentenced to death for drug trafficking.

Indonesia’s crackdown on narcotics

Since President Joko Widodo took office in 2014, 14 people found guilty of drug offenses in Indonesia have been executed. Two were Indonesian citizens. There has been a marked increase in death sentences and executions under Widodo’s hardline policy on drugs, particularly against foreign drug traffickers.

Last January, Indonesia executed drug traffickers from Brazil, Holland, Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria. This resulted in several foreign diplomats being withdrawn from the country in protest. Last May, a further five foreigners convicted of drugs charges were executed.

Indonesia’s approach remains controversial. The country’s leaders say a tough line is needed to curb domestic drug abuse.

According to Al Jazeera, Indonesia’s so-called war on drugs has seen the regular public parading of people convicted of low-level drug offenses.

PKNI is a network of drug user organizations established to address human rights issues relating to people who use drugs in Indonesia. It says that despite the higher number of executions in 2015 there has not been a decrease in drug related crimes.

According to The Diplomat, one expert says that the harsh penalties against drug-related crimes "will stay entrenched" in Indonesia "for a while to come."

Tough laws on drugs are common across Southeast Asia. Described as "the strictest on the planet," drug laws in Singapore consider people possessing large amount of narcotics as drug traffickers, and capital punishment in many cases is standard. The penalties are also harsh for people caught with small amounts of drugs. Malaysia also punishes some drug offenses with the death penalty.

A short documentary film "Dying a Slow Death" was released late last year, showing how drug users are influenced by tighter narcotics laws in Indonesia.

Edited by Edward White

Sources:

Indonesian law

The Diplomat

The Diplomat

PKNI

PKNI

udn News

About Travel

About Travel

About Travel

About Travel

Al Jazeera