Nigerians may need NDLEA clearance to visit Indonesia

Nigerians with new passports seeking to travel to Indonesia will need to include a certificate of recommendation from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) among the documents needed to process their visas.

Harry Purwanto, Indonesian ambassador to Nigeria, disclosed this to NAN in Abuja on Monday, saying the new visa policy was in line with global measures to promote safety.

He said the visa conditionals were reviewed in October 2016.

Purwanto said it was easier for those with frequently used passports to get visas.

He explained that applicants seeking to travel to Indonesia also need to be invited or have certain recommendations to visit that country.

The envoy said the policy had made visa application process for Nigerians “quite tough” but added that it was for the safety of all.

“We (the embassy) could authorise the issuance of visas without having to get in touch with Jakarta; but since October 2016, we have to send visa applications from here to Jakarta for approval.

“We here can make only recommendations on visa applications, especially if applicants have programmes to undertake in Indonesia, but it is at the discretion of authorities in Jakarta to approve the visas that will be issued.”

He also said about 2,000 visas were issued to Nigerians in 2016, and the same number in 2015.

Purwanto said that both countries were working on programmes that could enhance people-to-people relations, adding that such relations would promote understanding between both cultures.

“We have about 50 Nigerian students in Indonesia, some under scholarship, and they serve as ambassadors for Nigeria there,” he said.

“The Nigerian community in the country is not so large, that is why crimes committed by a few could tarnish the image of others.”

Many Nigerians have been involved in drug trafficking in the Asian country.


Source: The Cable

Missing farmer found dead inside a Python

A missing farmer has been found dead inside the stomach of a four-metre long python in Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province, media reports said Wednesday.

Residents in Karossa district caught the snake on Monday while they were looking for Akbar, who had failed to return home after leaving his home to pick palm oil fruit in a nearby plantation the previous day, the Kompas daily reported.

When they cut the python open, the found the fully-clothed body of Akbar, 25, in its belly, the report said.

“His harvest scattered,” a resident, Satriawan was quoted as saying by Tribunnews website.

“Maybe he was attacked from behind.”


Source: dpa/NAN

Pressure-Cooker Bomber: Suspect Shot And Seriously Wounded – Police

The Indonesian Police say a pressure cooker bomb has exploded in the courtyard of a government building in the city Bandung but the attacker has been shot and seriously wounded.

There are no reports of injuries from the explosion which occurred around 9.00am In the west Java city.

Describing the attack, the Police said a man arrived at the government building on a motorbike and placed a pressure cooker on a table in a corner of the courtyard.

After the explosion, the man ran into the government office and was later shot by officers.

They said they believed the motive of the attack was to force the release of prisoners held by the Police Anti-terror Unit.

In January 2016, Islamic State militant attacked the Indonesia capital, Jakarta for the first time.


Source: Channels TV

BREAKING: Indonesia announces new visa policy for Nigerians.

The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, on Tuesday announced his government’s new policy for issuing visas to Nigerians and other foreigners wanting to visit Indonesia for any purpose.


Purwanto told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that under the new policy, his Embassy would no longer be involved in visa processing, but only in the collection of visa applications.


The Ambassador, who did not give any reason for his government’s new visa policy, said that the processing of visas to Indonesia would henceforth take a much longer time.


“Nigerians seeking visas to Indonesia should know that the Indonesian government has introduced a new visa application and issuance policy.


“Under the new policy, we as an Embassy in Nigeria have been withdrawn from processing visas.


“All we are now required to do is to collect visa applications and send them to Indonesia for processing. We now have to be taking authority from Jakarta.


“We, therefore, want to tell Nigerians seeking visas to Indonesia to now begin their applications at least two weeks in advance, to enable us send their applications on time to Jakarta,’’ he said.


Purwanto enjoined Nigerians to always ensure that authentic information and documents were provided in their visa application forms, to avoid visa refusal from Jakarta.


The Ambassador, who restated his government’s commitment to issuing more visas to Nigerians, said that about 1,000 Nigerians were issued visas to Indonesia this year.


He also said that his government would continue to create the right environment for mutual trade relations and people-to-people interactions between genuine Nigerians and Indonesians.

Indonesia’s Christian governor goes on trial for ‘blasphemy’

The Christian governor of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, went on trial on Tuesday to face charges of blasphemy over remarks perceived as insulting to Muslims.

The trial of the governor, Basuki Purnama, followed a wave of protests by conservative Muslims demanding his prosecution.

According to the indictment read out by prosecutors, Mr. Purnama is accused of “publicly expressing hostility to, abusing and disparaging’’ a religion, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Security was tight for the trial at the North Jakarta district court and hundreds of conservative Muslims dressed in white gathered outside to demand Mr. Purnama be jailed.

Mr. Purnama said “I understand the charges but I don’t understand why I’m being accused of blasphemy,’’ after prosecutors read out the indictment.

Mr. Purnama said as a Christian politician running for office in a Muslim-majority country, he had been unfairly attacked by political opponents because of his faith.

Mr. Purnama said in tears “They abuse holy verses to achieve their political goals, because they can’t compete in terms of programmes and personal integrity’’.

Under Indonesian law, a defendant does not have to enter a plea at the start of a trial.

The blasphemy allegations stem from remarks made by Mr. Purnama in September, when he said his opponents had used a verse from the Koran to deceive voters.

At a gathering with residents, he said they did not have to vote for him in the upcoming February 15 gubernatorial election if they were afraid of going to hell because they “have been lied to using Surah Al-Maidah verse 51’’.

Some Muslims interpret the Koranic text in question as prohibiting them from electing non-Muslims as their leaders, although other Muslims disagree that Purnama’s remarks were blasphemous.

Mr. Purnama has repeatedly apologised, saying his comments meant that politicians misinterpreted the Koranic verse.

Tensions have risen in Jakarta after more than 100,000 Muslims rallied on November 4 demanding the prosecution of Mr. Purnama, who is a member of the ethnic Chinese minority.

A second anti-Purnama rally on December 2 was attended by more than 200,000.

Mr. Purnama became Jakarta’s first Christian governor in 50 years when he took over from Joko Widodo, now Indonesia’s president, in 2014.

Mr. Widodo, an ally of Mr. Purnama, has accused “political actors’’ of exploiting anger over Mr. Purnama’s remarks to undermine his government.

Mr. Purnama’s ascension to the top job in the city teeming with 10 million people had been hailed as an example of Indonesia’s embrace of democracy and diversity.

Hard line groups such as the Islamic Defenders’ Front have always been critical of Mr. Purnama, but their past protests against the governor failed to gain strong support, until his remarks on the Koran hit a nerve with many Muslims.

Mr. Purnama is known for his strong stance against corruption and being an effective administrator in a bureaucracy that has long been plagued by corruption and incompetence.

Before the blasphemy case, polls consistently showed him leading in the race for the governorship.

However, more recent polls showed his numbers had dropped significantly, putting him second in a three-way race.

Mr. Purnama has also made enemies along the way, including officials and members of the city council who he criticised publicly, suggesting that they are incompetent and corrupt.

As part of his urban renewal programmes, he forcefully evicted squatters and slum dwellers, and relocated them to apartments where they have to pay rent and are far from their livelihoods.

Indonesian soldier found alive two weeks after helicopter crash

A soldier has been found alive two weeks after an Indonesian army helicopter he was travelling in crashed, killing three people, the military said on Friday.


The helicopter went down in a ravine in northern Indonesia on November 24 while carrying supplies to military posts near the border with Malaysia.


Armed forces spokesperson, Sabrar Fadhilah, said Yohannes Saputra was found on Thursday in a nearby village with injuries to his arms, waist and legs.


“He was extremely weak because he had not eaten for days,” he said.


Local media reported that Saputra made his way to a farm where he stayed in a hut overnight and ate sugar before being found by villagers.


The helicopter’s pilot was found alive three days after the crash, while the other three soldiers were dead.

Drug Offences: 81 More On Death Row In Malaysia, 15 In Indonesia

No fewer than 81 more Nigerians in Malaysia and 15 in Indonesia are awaiting execution after they had been convicted on drug related offences in the two countries just as one Chijioke Stephen Obioha was executed in Singapore yesterday.

Drug offences in those countries carry the death penalty.

It was reliably learnt from sources in the Malaysian Embassy that the Malaysia government had repeatedly complained to the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of Nigeria of what had become almost an epidemic proportion of Nigerians who traffic in the deadly cargo but all appear to have fallen on deaf ears as the number of arrests had been on a steady increase.

Last week, Indonesia executed another Nigerian without fanfare as was contained in notes exchanged when Nigeria’s drug law agency officials visited Indonesia recently.

Obioha’s execution was inspite of global cries and appeals which followed the failure of his appeal to their apex court after conviction. The apex court threw out his final appeal.

Malaysia complained that the new tactics that the Nigerians were using to traffic and vend hard drugs was through chat groups on social media.

Read More: thisdaylive

At Least 54 Killed In Indonesia Boat Sinking

At least 54 people have died in the sinking of an overcrowded boat carrying migrant workers in the sea off the Indonesian island of Batam.

Police and rescue agency officials on Friday provided updates on the incident which happened on Wednesday after rescuers found more bodies.

The speedboat carrying 101 migrant workers and their families from Malaysia capsized in stormy weather and 41 of the passengers were rescued. Six people are still missing.

Officials say two of the three crew who survived the sinking have been arrested on suspicion of a shipping violation.

The head of the local search and rescue agency said strong winds and currents were hampering efforts by rescuers to look below the surface.

Police suspect the trip was illegal and the workers were undocumented because of the high fares that the survivors said they had paid.

Speedboats and ferries are a common form of transport in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago with more than 17,000 islands.

Maritime incidents are common due to the poor enforcement of safety regulations on boats and ferries, which offer a relatively cheap form of transportation and are often full to the brim.

One of the worst ferry incidents in Indonesia in recent years occurred off the country’s Sulawesi Island in 2009, killing more than 330 people.

Credit: presstv

Floods, Landslides Leave 20 Dead In Indonesia

Heavy rains in Indonesia have caused the death of at least 20 people on the island of Java as the monsoon season approaches the island country.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Mitigation Agency, said on Wednesday that the death toll could rise as several people were still missing in West Java’s Garut and Sumedang districts.

About 1,000 villagers have been evacuated from their homes and relocated to make-shift shelters and army barracks, Nugroho said.

Garut is said to be the worst-hit area, where two rivers overflowed on Tuesday night, leaving 16 villagers dead and eight others still missing.

In Sumedang, three villagers died and one person went missing after mudslides buried two houses.

Each year, torrential rains during the monsoon seasons, first from January to March and then from October to December, frequently result in widespread flooding across much of Indonesia.

Heavy raining also triggers landslides, which cause huge losses of human life and livestock as well as property damage.

Read More: presstv

Indonesia To Execute Nigerian, Other Drug Convicts This Week

A group of drug convicts including foreigners will face the firing squad in Indonesia this week after authorities Tuesday gave notice of their executions, a diplomat said, despite protests from governments and rights groups.

Syed Zahid Raza, the deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, told AFP the convicts, who include a Pakistani, could be executed around midnight Friday after officials signalled the start of a 72-hour notice period at a meeting with diplomats.

Nationals from Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are expected to be executed alongside Indonesians. Officials say no Europeans or Australians will be included in the third round of executions under President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia sparked international outrage with its last batch of executions in April 2015 when it put to death seven foreigners, including two Australians. But Widodo has insisted Jakarta is fighting a war against drugs and traffickers must be harshly punished.

Pakistan has so far publicly voiced the most concern about the upcoming executions, and its foreign ministry Tuesday summoned the Indonesian ambassador to Islamabad to convey their concerns about the case of their national, 52-year-old Zulfiqar Ali.

Activists say that Ali, sentenced to death in 2005 for heroin possession, was beaten and tortured into confessing and did not receive a fair trial. Rights groups have also called on Indonesia to halt the planned executions, citing worries about irregularities with some convictions.

Credit: Vanguard

Indonesia Bans Police, Troops From Playing Pokemon Go

Indonesia has ordered police not to play Pokemon Go while on duty and will soon ban military personnel as well, officials said Wednesday, as the defence minister warned the smartphone game was a security threat.

Indonesians have joined the frenzy for the game, which has become a worldwide hit since launching two weeks ago and has has already been blamed for a wave of crimes, traffic violations and complaints in cities around the globe.

Despite Pokemon Go not yet being officially available in Indonesia, many have downloaded it illegally and taken to the streets to hunt for virtual “pocket monsters”.

But its popularity has caused concern among the security establishment’s top echelons, with officials suggesting its high-tech capabilities could be put to use in spying.

“Spying can come in different forms,” said hardline Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

“At first, it (Pokemon Go) appears cute but the longer you see… it is just not right.”

The military will soon issue an order banning all personnel from playing Pokemon Go during work hours as it seeks to protect high-security sites, military spokesman Tatang Sulaiman told AFP.

The order will note concerns that devices being used to play the game can send data over the Internet to other countries.

The announcement came after a Frenchman was briefly detained this week when he accidentally wandered onto a military base on Java island as he played Pokemon Go.

Police officers across the country were already sent an order on Tuesday banning them from playing the game while on duty, a spokesman said.

“We are worried that police officers may become addicted and we don’t want that because a police officer’s duty is to serve the public. The job requires hard work and concentration,” said national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar.

He also said police had been instructed to be on heightened alert for terror threats. Earlier this month, a suicide bomber attacked a police station in the city of Solo, injuring one officer.

Pokemon Go uses smartphone satellite location, graphics and camera capabilities to overlay cartoon monsters on real-world settings, challenging players to capture and train the creatures for battles.

Credit: Guardian

Indonesia To Execute 30 Convicts In 2017

Bambang Waluyo, Indonesian Deputy Attorney General, has said government planned to execute 30 death-row convicts in 2017.
He disclosed this on Monday in Jakarta during a parliamentary hearing.
Waluyo said that this year, his office is preparing to execute 18 convicts, after July 6, the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday, which ends of the holy month of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry said not less than 121 people are currently on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mostly convicted of drug-related crimes.
It explained that they include; Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines, Lindsay Sandiford from Britain and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui.
The ministry recalled that in 2015 Indonesia executed 14 convicts, all but two of them foreigners, in a move that drew international condemnation.
Under Indonesian law, each convict would face a squad of 10 gunmen.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in 2014, has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, saying that the country is facing a drug emergency.



Blasts, Gunfight In Indonesian Capital, At Least 6 Dead

Militants launched a gun and bomb assault killing at least six people in the center of the Indonesian capital on Thursday, police said, in an attack that followed a threat by Islamic State fighters to put the country in their “spotlight.”
Media said six bombs went off and a Reuters witness saw three dead people and a gunfight going on. One blast was in a Starbucks cafe and security forces were later seen entering the building.
Police said they suspected a suicide bomber was responsible for at least one of the blasts and up to 14 militant gunmen were involved in the attack, Metro TV reported.

“The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him,” said a Reuters photographer.

Indonesia has been on edge in recent weeks over the threat posed by Islamist militants and counter-terrorism police have launched a crackdown on people with suspected links to Islamic State.

“We have previously received a threat from Islamic State that Indonesia will be the spotlight,” police spokesman Anton Charliyan told reporters. But he said police did not know who was resposible.

He said three policemen and three civilians had been killed.

“I saw a police officer shot right in front of me,” one witness told TV One.

One explosion went off in front of a shopping center called the Sarinah mall, on a main avenue. Media said a police post outside the mall was blown up.
Police snipers were deployed among hundreds of other security officers.

A U.N. building near the scene was in lock-down with no one allowed in or out, a witness said. Some other high-rise buildings in the area were evacuated.
Indonesia’s central bank is located in the same area, and a spokesman for the bank said a policy meeting was going ahead and a decision on interest rates would be announced as planned later in the day.

An explosion was heard in the western suburb of Palmerah, according to a domestic media tweet, but police said they could not confirm a blast there.
Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population, the vast majority of whom practice a moderate form of the religion.

The country saw a spate of militant attacks in the 2000s, the deadliest of which was a nightclub bombing on the holiday island of Bali that killed 202 people, most of them tourists.

Police have been largely successful in destroying domestic militant cells since then, but officials have more recently been worrying about a resurgence inspired by groups such as Islamic State and Indonesians who return after fighting with the group.

The last major militant attacks in Jakarta were in July 2009, with bombs at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels.


Indonesia Promises To Assist Nigeria In War On Terror

The Indonesian government says it is ready to provide assistance to Nigeria in its fight against terrorism.

The Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, made the promise at a meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.

At the meeting held at the Minister’s office on Thursday, both countries had the opportunity to explore areas of mutual benefit.

In their talks, Mrs Ibrahim also sought an agreement on prisoner swap between the two countries, in an attempt to bring some Nigerians serving different jail terms in Indonesia back home.

Earlier, the Minister asked for the assistance of the Indonesian government in Nigeria’s fight against insurgency in the northeast.

Responding to the request, the Indonesian Ambassador said his government had also had to deal with the issue terrorism and would welcome an opportunity to assist Nigeria.

Mr Purwanto further stated that his country would also wish to explore the possibility of buying crude oil from Nigeria.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Couple Brutally Caned In Public For Crime Of Affectionate Contact In Indonesia (SEE PHOTOS)

A woman who was accused of being too friendly with a man she is not married to, as well as the man himself, were caned at a mosque in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Monday.

According to the Jakarta Post, the caning took place before a yelling crowd at Baiturrahim Mosque in Banda Aceh after the couple was sentenced according to the city’s Sharia bylaws, which criminalize “khalwat (affectionate contact by an unmarried couple).”




“Take these punishments as a lesson. What has been done by these convicts should not be taken as an example. And, I hope their canings in Meuraxa district today will be the last ever,” Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin told the crowd, according to the Post. “And to the public, I ask that you do not isolate those who have been convicted here today. And also, those who have been convicted are reminded not to repeat the same mistakes.“

Credit: Yahoo

Nigeria Open To Industrial Pact With Indonesia – Aisha Abubakar

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, says the Federal Government is open to signing an industrial agreement with Indonesia.


She stated this when an Indonesian business delegation led by the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, visited her in Abuja, a statement from the ministry said on Tuesday.


According to the statement, signed by Maryam Yusuf, a Deputy Director, Abubakar also stressed the government’s resolve to strengthen the business relations between both countries.


The statement reported her as assuring the delegation that the economic relations between Nigeria and the Asian country would receive a boost under the current administration.


It said this was necessary to attract more Indonesian investors to the country in line with the government’s economic diversification agenda.


The statement gave the government’s assurance to the international business community that vigorous efforts were being made to improve the country’s investment climate.


It reported Purwanto as telling the minister that the visit was aimed at enhancing bilateral relations between both countries in view of Nigeria’s enormous potential.


“He noted that Indonesia shared a lot of commodities with Nigeria, stressing that those should be harnessed to ensure greater interactions between the two nations. The ambassadors assured the minister that more Indonesian investors would be encouraged to come to Nigeria to join their nationals who have made huge investments here.


He also urged Nigeria to reciprocate the gesture by encouraging its citizens to invest in his country as the Indonesian government was also doing everything to enhance its business environment.

Purwanto emphasised the need for an industrial pact between both countries’’, the statement said.



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria and Indonesia enjoy good bilateral relations with the volume standing at about 2.8 billion dollars in 2014.


Purwanto had told NAN in April that oil imports formed the bulk of Indonesia’s contribution to the figure, adding that Nigeria was his country’s second largest source of oil after Saudi Arabia.


According to him, Nigeria’s import from Indonesia within the period under review is between 600 and 700 million dollars.


Both countries signed a multi-billion naira airline and aircraft maintenance agreement with some trade pacts in February 2013.


Nigeria has an industrial development blueprint, officially known as the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), which was launched in 2013.




Missing Indonesian Plane Found Crashed In Oktabe District Of Papua Region

The Indonesian domestic flight carrying 54 passengers and crew that went missing this afternoon has been found crashed in a mountain in Oktabe district in Papua region in Eastern Indonesia.

According to Indonesia’s transport ministry’s director-general of air transportation, Suprasetyo, some villagers in the region found the crashed plane and alerted rescue officials.

“The plane has been found by villagers. According to residents, the flight had crashed into a mountain. Verification is still in process,” an official said

Earthquake Hits Indonesia

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Indonesia’s Papua region on Tuesday.

It said the quake struck inland, some 244 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Jayapura. No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage.

Credit: NAN

Indonesia Police Chief Defends Law That Demands ‘Virginity Tests’ For Their Female Recruits

Indonesia’s top military commander defended a requirement that female recruits undergo an invasive “virginity test” to determine whether they are morally suited for the armed forces.

His remarks follow a letter from Human Rights Watch condemning the practice.

“So what’s the problem? It’s a good thing, so why criticize it?” Gen. Moeldoko was quoted by The Jakarta Globe as telling reporters on Friday.

Moeldoko “conceded, though, that there was no direct link between a woman being a virgin and her abilities as a member of the armed forces, but insisted that virginity was a gauge of a woman’s
morality — one of the three key traits he said a woman must have to serve in the [Indonesia Armed Forces], along with high academic aptitude and physical strength.”

The virginity test “is a measure of morality. There’s no other way” to determine a person’s morality, Moeldoko said.

According to The Washington Post: “In Indonesia, the test is considered standard practice. Women seeking to join the military are required to strip naked and have their genitalia manually examined by a doctor, purportedly to ensure that they are virgins.”

Indonesia Military’s ‘Virginity’ Testing Should Be Abolished, Human Rights Group Urges

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, last year admitted it conducted virginity tests on women trying to join the police or military even though the World Health Organization says the test has no scientific validity.

“The Indonesian armed forces should recognize that harmful and humiliating ‘virginity tests’ on women recruits do nothing to strengthen national security,” said Nisha Varia, HRW’s women’s rights advocacy director.
A human rights group urged Indonesia to abolish invasive “virginity tests” for female recruits and the fiancees of military officers in its armed forces, saying international treaties had described the practice as degrading and cruel.

President Joko Widodo should ask military hospitals immediately to stop administering the tests,
which violate international human rights treaties that Indonesia has ratified, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
To justify the tests, military officers told female recruits the they were crucial to preserving “the dignity and the honor of the nation,” HRW said.

Officers who wish to marry require a letter of recommendation from their commanders, who only issue them upon confirmation that the fiancée has undergone a medical examination, including the “virginity test” at a military hospital.

The tests have been recognized internationally as violations of the right to non-discrimination and the prohibition of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” under international human rights treaties that Indonesia has ratified, HRW said.
In February, Indonesian officials dropped a plan to require female students to pass virginity tests in order to graduate from high school and apologized after sparking a public outcry.

The rights group said it was calling for the support of the International Committee on Military Medicine (ICMM), which will hold its world conference in Indonesia next week. The ICMM aims to foster collaboration between members of armed forces’ medical services.

British Grandmother Prepares For Execution In Indonesia

A British grandmother on death row in Indonesia is writing goodbye letters to her family and believes she could be executed at any time, she wrote in an article on Sunday.

Lindsay Sandiford, 58, said she was expecting to die shortly, after seven foreign drug convicts were executed last week, causing a storm of international protest.

“My execution is imminent and I know I might die at any time now. I could be taken tomorrow from my cell,” Sandiford wrote in British newspaper the Mail on Sunday.

“I have started to write goodbye letters to members of my family.”

Sandiford, originally from Redcar in northeast England, wrote that she planned to sing the cheery popular song “Magic Moments” when facing the firing squad.

“I won’t wear a blindfold. It’s not because I’m brave but because I don’t want to hide — I want them to look at me when they shoot me.”

She said her greatest sadness is that she may never meet her two-year-old granddaughter, who was born after her arrest.

Sandiford was sentenced to death on the island of Bali in 2013 after she was convicted of trafficking drugs.

Customs officers found cocaine worth an estimated £1.6 million ($2.4 million, 2.2 million euros) hidden in a false bottom in Sandiford’s suitcase when she arrived in Bali on a flight from Thailand in 2012.

Sandiford admitted the offences, but says that she agreed to carry the drugs after a drug syndicate threatened to kill her son.

Read MoreAP

FG Reacts To Nigerians’ Execution In Indonesia

The federal government has expressed disappointment over the execution of Nigerians by Indonesian government on Wednesday.

In a statement by the Ministry of foreign affairs yesterday, it stated, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has received with deep disappointment, news of the execution of 4 (four) Nigerians, Martin Anderson, Okwudili Oyatanze, Jaminu Abashin and Sylvester Obiekwe by the government of Indonesia for drug related offences. “These executions have taken place despite spirited pleas for clemency made at the highest level by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and more recently, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali,” It said .

The statement recalled that the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 21st April, 2015 during the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) Summit which took place in Indonesia, Jakarta. The federal government also expressed its condolences to the families of the deceased. It has asked the Indonesian Government for the repatriation of the remains of the executed persons so that they could be accorded decent burial in their various communities.

“The federal government seizes this opportunity to once again, warn all Nigerians to desist from drug trafficking and other offences that attract maximum punishment in several countries of the world…”

Read More: dailypost

Why We Executed Nigerians, Others- Indonesia

Indonesia on Wednesday resolutely defended its execution of seven foreigners including four Nigerians and two Australians, saying it was a defining moment on its clear position against drugs.

It would be recalled that following the execution, Australia withdrew its ambassador in protest against Indonesia’s decision, but while responding to global outcry over the country’s action, Indonesian President, Joko Widodo said he was only applying “the rule of law” against narcotics traffickers. The seven convicts believed to be two Australians, one Brazilian and four Nigerians were shot by firing squad along with one Indonesian, despite appeals from their home countries.

Read Moredailypost

Indonesia Defends Execution Of Drug Convicts

The government of Indonesia has defended the execution of eight people, including four Nigerians, convicted for drug offenses.

The country’s Attorney-General, Muhamad Prasetyo, said Indonesia is wagging war against horrible drug crimes that threatens the nation’s survival.

He added that while execution is not a pleasant thing, it must be done in order to save the nation from the danger of drugs.

“We are not making enemies of countries from where those executed came,” Prasetyo said.

The convicts were shot by firing squad along with one Indonesian, despite strident foreign appeals and pleas from family members.

All the condemned men reportedly refused blindfolds and sang hymns, among them “amazing grace”, as they went to face the firing squad in a jungle clearing.

As the clock ticked down to midnight, a group of tearful supporters also sang hymns, embraced and held candles aloft, during a vigil at the port in Cilacap, the gateway to the prison Island of Nusakambangan.

A Filipina originally set to be executed was however, given an 11th hour reprieve after a woman, who allegedly tricked her into ferrying drugs to Indonesia,  turned herself in to the police in the Philippines.

Indonesia Convicts Sang Praises To God Before Execution – Witnesses

As they walked to face the firing squad on an Indonesian prison island, eight condemned drug traffickers defiantly sang praise to God, witnesses said, while in a town across the water a group of tearful supporters was also uniting in song. Read more as reported by the AFP:

The convicts — two from Australia, one from Brazil, four from Africa and one Indonesian — made the long journey from their prison to clearings on a prison island to meet their fate early Wednesday. But rather than bow their heads in defeat and resignation, the convicts all reportedly refused blindfolds and raised their voices in song, including a rendition of “Amazing Grace”, until the gunfire from the firing squads rang out.

The husband of Pastor Christie Buckingham, who gave spiritual guidance to one of the Australians in his final moments, said his wife told him the men conducted themselves with “dignity and strength until the end”. “She told me the eight of them walked out onto the killing field singing songs of praise,” Rob Buckingham told 3AW radio in Australia.

Across the water in the town of Cilacap, the final crossing point for inmates destined for death on the high-security Nusakambangan island, a small band of mourners held a candlelight vigil, and also sang “Amazing Grace”. The haunting sounds filled the night sky, drowning out the sobs of those too distressed to contemplate what was taking place in the jungle-clad hills of the prison island. One man wailed loudly and implored Indonesian President Joko Widodo to have mercy. Another supporter read out the names of each inmate one by one.

Indonesia Executes Drug Smugglers By Firing Squad

Executions of eight out of nine convicts carried out despite plea by Australia to investigate judicial corruption.  Indonesia has executed eight out of nine drug convicts despite last-ditch appeals by Australia’s foreign minister for a stay of execution so that claims of corruption during the trials of two Australian prisoners could be investigated.

The executions were carried out by firing squad at midnight 17:00 GMT) at Besi prison on Nusakambangan Island on Tuesday, after the inmates were given 72-hour notice. Over the weekend, authorities had asked the nine inmates, two Australians, four Nigerian men, a Filipino woman, and one man each from Brazil and Indonesia, for their last wishes.

The families of the Australian convicts had paid an anguished final visit to their loved ones on Tuesday, wailing in grief as ambulances carrying empty white coffins arrived at the prison. Julie Bishop, Australia’s foreign minister, told media that she had received a letter from Indonesia on Monday night that offered no indication of a reprieve for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Earlier in the day, Bishop had asked for a stay in their executions, saying allegations in the Australian media that their judges had requested money to commute the death sentences were “very serious”. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said that such concerns should have been conveyed a decade ago when the case went through the courts.

A former lawyer of the prisoners, Muhammad Rifan, told Australia’s Fairfax Media on Monday that Indonesian judges had requested more than $100,000 in return for prison terms of less than 20 years. But Rifan said the judges later told him they had been ordered by senior legal and government members in Jakarta to impose a death penalty, so the deal fell through.

Read More: aljazeera

Drugs: Ban Ki-moon Urges Indonesia Not To Execute Nigerian, Others

The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has appealed to Indonesia to stop the planned executions of nine prisoners within days for drug-related crimes.

The nine – from Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines, and Indonesia – have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan, where they are set to face a firing squad, despite mounting international criticism.

Indonesia has so far informed eight of the death row inmates,

including one Nigerian, two Australian members of the so-called “Bali Nine” group, that they will be executed in a matter of days, possibly as soon as Tuesday.

Officials said earlier that a 10th prisoner, the Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who was expected to be among the group being put to death, would not be included in the forthcoming batch as he still had an outstanding legal appeal.

The United Nations opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and

in a statement, Ban’s spokesman said the secretary-general urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to “urgently consider declaring a

moratorium on capital punishment in Indonesia, with a view toward abolition”.

Indonesia has harsh punishments for drug crimes and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap. Six executions have been carried out so far this year.

“Under international law, if the death penalty is to be used at all, it should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, namely those involving intentional killing and only with appropriate safeguards,” Ban’s spokesman said in a statement.

“Drug-related offences generally are not considered to fall under the category of ‘most serious crimes’,” he said.

The foreign drug convicts have all lost appeals for clemency from Widodo, who argues that Indonesia is fighting a drugs emergency.