Indonesia on Monday defended the death penalty after the Netherlands and Brazil withdrew ambassadors from Jakarta over the executions of their citizens.wpid-Execution-rope.jpg

Six convicted traffickers – one each from Malawi, Brazil, Nigeria and the Netherlands, Vietnam and Indonesia – were shot by firing squads on Sunday, in the first executions since 2013.

“The withdrawal of the ambassadors for consultation is the right of the countries that sent them,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.

“Regarding the death penalty, all the legal process has been followed,” he said. “Indonesia is a democratic and sovereign country that is based on the rule of law.”

Arrmanatha said the drug problem in Indonesia had reached an emergency level.

He said drug abuse killed an average 40 people in Indonesia each day, and the estimated number of drug addicts is expected to reach 5.8 million people this year.

“This is especially frightening because the future of the young generation is at stake,” Arrmanatha said.

Amnesty International called the execution “a retrograde step for human rights in the country.”

The executions were the first since President Joko Widodo took office in October 2014.

In December, he refused to grant clemency requests for the convicts and has ruled out mercy for other death row drug traffickers.

There are about 60 other convicted drug traffickers on death row in Indonesian prisons, including two Australian men and a British woman.


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