If you thought the United States was Draconian when it came to the prosecution of drug offenders, Indonesia has an unpleasant surprise for you. While in the United States it isn’t uncommon to hear of  20 plus year sentences for marijuana possession, which many people both within the United States and outside are in increasing numbers calling ludicrous, to my knowledge drug offenders are usually not treated with the death penalty (another domestic issue for another time).

In Indonesia, however, at least four people convicted of crimes pertaining to or containing drugs were swiftly executed today as a part of the island nation’s ongoing War on Drugs which makes the United States’ failed efforts on that front look reasonable, even placid.

Among today’s dead are three people who are not from Indonesia (there were two from Nigeria and another from Senegal) and what makes these executions more scary is that there are 10 other people (again mostly foreign, from the Indian Subcontinent and Sub-Saharan Africa) who are awaiting their grisly fate at the hands of firing squads.

Among those who are decrying the executions include Amnesty International which says that they violate Human Rights Law which says that people are not to be executed for drug crimes. Ignoring that most Human Rights Laws are virtually impossible to enforce the organization does bring the charge of unfair trials and use of torture against the Indonesian government in these cases and is calling for the President of Indonesia to commute the remaining death sentences. It is unknown whether this outcry will change policy.

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