Indian convict Gurdip Singh not among those executed in Indonesia
Indian convict Gurdip Singh not among those executed in Indonesia

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said that Indian convict Gurdip Singh, who was supposed to be executed on Thursday night in Indonesia, was reprieved when four other convicts were executed for drug crimes.

"Indian Ambassador in Indonesia has informed me that Gurdip Singh whose execution was fixed for last night, has not been executed," Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

However, it was not clear why the Indian was not executed while four other convicts were put to death by the firing squad.

Singh was among 10 convicts who were to be executed but were not put to death.

Four executions went ahead on a remote prison island in Indonesia despite strong protests from international rights groups, UN and the European Union.

Deputy Attorney-General Noor Rachmad said one Indonesian and three Nigerians were executed by firing squad not long after midnight local time.

Deputy attorney general also said that 10 more executions "will be carried out in stages", but the timings had not yet been decided.

MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup had yesterday said that Indian Embassy officials in Jakarta were reaching out to the Indonesian foreign office and the senior leadership of the country on the issue. Swaraj had said government was making last minute efforts to save Singh.

"Afdhal Muhammad, the legal representative of Singh was of the view that he can file for Presidential clemency under the relevant law before the President of Indonesia. The Embassy sent a Note Verbale to Indonesia's Foreign Ministry requesting that all legal recourse should be exhausted before the death penalty is carried out," Swarup said.

Singh was arrested on August 29, 2004, at the Soekarno Hatta Airport on charges of drug trafficking. The Tangerang Court awarded him capital punishment in February 2005, against the prosecutors' request for 20 years imprisonment.

His appeal against the death penalty was turned down by the High Court of Banten in May, 2005. He then appealed to the Supreme Court which also upheld his death penalty.

Last year, Indonesia executed 14 people convicted of drug crimes, mostly foreigners, sparking an international outcry.

President Joko Widodo has defended dramatically ramping up the use of capital punishment, saying that Indonesia is fighting a war on drugs and traffickers must be heavily punished.


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