By: Brian Kim
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia 

JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Joko Widodo of Indonesia imposed a new order against drug dealers and traffickers as he attempts to fight the drug issues he is facing in the country. The new shoot-to-kill order is his call for tougher action against drug traffickers in Indonesia.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has implemented tough rules to combat the country’s “narcotics emergency”. Photo courtesy of ABC.

At an event in Jakarta on July 21, Mr. Wido warned against a potential national emergency due to the drug situation. He stated that “if they resist arrest, just gun them down, show no mercy.”

His recent comments have been compared to President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines as Mr. Duterte has issued controversial anti-drug laws in his country. Since the beginning of his campaign to stop drug trafficking in the Philippines, Mr. Duterte’s police force has killed around 7,000 Filipinos. His actions have been condemned by the international community.

In 2015, Mr. Widodo’s government executed two Australian drug smugglers despite the Australian Government’s plea for a stay of execution. With its already tough laws against drugs, Mr. Widodo has been heavily criticized for ordering executions for drug offenses.

The new order was implemented after a Taiwanese national was shot dead for being involved with a drug smuggling operating around Jakarta. The man was reported to be a part of a group trying to smuggle one tonne of crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia. The man was shot for resisting arrest.

Indonesia is one of 33 countries that use capital punishment for drug-related convictions and since 2013, 18 people have been executed by the firing squad. Currently, the government estimates around 1.2 million drug-abusers in the country. Ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine are widely used in Indonesia.

General Tito, the Indonesian National Police chief, stated that imposing the death penalty against drug offenders is a good way to deter people from committing drug-related crimes.

However, General Tito’s comments drew strong condemnation from the international community and from Human Rights Watch deputy director for Asia, Mr. Phelim Kine. Mr. Kine was recently quoted in saying that General Tito’s should “denounce the Philippines’ war on drugs.”

For more information, please see: 

ABC – Indonesian President tells police to shoot foreign drug dealers who resist arrest – 22 July, 2017

Reuters- Joko Widodo: Police should shoot suspected drug dealers – 22 July, 2017

The Straits Times – Jokowi issues order to shoot drug traffickers – 23 July, 2017

Aljazeera – Joko Widodo: Police should shoot suspected drug dealers – 23 July, 2017


Author: Brian Kim