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Indonesia Refused U.S. Request in Fight Against ISIS

Indonesia's former foreign minister says the U.S. asked Indonesia to send ground troops to Iraq to fight ISIS, and it refused: It didn't want to upset "radical Muslims" at home.

Indonesia was asked by the United States to send troops to join the fight against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq but declined because it feared a backlash among radical Muslims at home, the country's former foreign minister has revealed. Marty Natalegawa, the long-serving top envoy under Jakarta's previous administration, said Indonesia felt it could better contribute by tackling its own domestic extremism problem, whereas sending forces would be "cosmetic".

Maybe the next time it gets hit by a massive Tsunami, our response should be "We can better use that money at home."

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Indonesia to Execute French Drug Offender

Convicted drug offender Frenchman Serge Atlaoui has lost his appeal challenging the denial of clemency. He was scheduled to be executed with Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan and six others in April, but the date was pushed back because of his pending appeal.

Indonesia says it will schedule his execution after Ramadan is over in mid July. [More...]

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AU Federal Police Defend Role in Bali Nine Arrests

Facing mounting criticism for helping Indonesia execute Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police held a press conference today to discuss the AFP's role in the arrest of the Bali Nine. [More....]

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Jakarta Globe Criticizes Joko Widodo Over Executions

Indonesia President Joko Widodo, already getting justly raked over the coals of international opinion, isn't doing any better at home. The editorial in the Jakarta Globe yesterday, hours before the executions, concludes he was hoodwinked by his aides (which doesn't say much for his leadership ability) and that the executions are not in Indonesia's best interest:

With regards to the planned executions, we doubt that such action is really aimed at creating deterrence. We are afraid that it was born out of political strategy of people surrounding Joko, and the president might be only a victim of his aides who provided him with false data and arguments.

It goes on to oppose the executions and say they have nothing to do with the problem of drugs in Indonesia: [More...]

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1,400 Police Secure Execution Site, All 8 Sang Together Until Shot

Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Noer Ali says Indonesia used 1,400 police personnel to secure the executions of the 8 non-violent drug offenders yesterday. This doesn't include military personnel who were also involved.

As I've written before, Indonesia was obsessed with security, to the point where they used four fighter jets armed with sidewinder missiles and a fully equipped navy warship to move the two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan from one island to another. [More...]

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Australia Recalls Ambassador to Indonesia

Indonesia President Joko Widodo is in the doghouse. Leaders all over the world are condemning Indonesia's executions today.

Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott has recalled their Ambassador to Indonesia. [More...]

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Indonesia Mass Killings: Eight Drug Offenders Are Dead

Update: Thumbing its nose at the world, Indonesia executed eight drug offenders tonight, including two models of rehabilitation, Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was spared, but only temporarily, after the woman who recruited her to act as a drug courier gave herself up to police in the Philippines. Her government said she was the victim of human trafficking and today said she is needed as a witness against her recruiter. Indonesia says her execution has been temporarily delayed so she can testify against the trafficker. [More...]

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Bali Nine Duo and Others to be Murdered at Midnight

Sunday it seemed French citizen Serge Atresi Atlaoui of France had gotten a stay of execution. The court denied his appeal Monday. It's not clear if he will be executed today with the others, or if he'll just sit in the isolation cell a bit longer.

There will be at least 7 executions tonight, just after midnight (Wednesday), including Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran and Mary Jane Veloso. It's not clear if Rodrigo Gularte, the mentally ill Brazilian will be among them.

The press won't be notified of the executions until after they have taken place. Myuram's mother says the killings will take place at midnight Indonesian time.

They will be taken to a shooting field, offered a last cigarette, and then a target will be placed over their hearts as the firing squad shoots away. [More...]

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Bali 9 Duo Get 72 Hour Execution Notice

Bali 9 inmates Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have received their official notification that they will be executed imminently -- as soon as Tuesday. Indonesian law requires they be notified at least 72 hours before the killings.

Another inmate waiting for her final appeal was also moved to the Death Island today, after the decision in her case was announced.

Ten inmates in all are scheduled for execution , 9 of whom are foreigners convicted of non-violent drug offenses. All will face the firing squad together. (Correction: Not all 10 of those scheduled for execution received notices. French citizen Serge Areski Atlaoui and Nigerian citizen Raheem Agbaje Salami still have appeals pending. Brazilian citizen Rodrigo Gularte is still waiting the outcome of his mental health assessment. The lone Indonesian in the group, Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin, also has a pending appeal. [More...]

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The Media Gets On Board: Indonesia Executions

The headline of an article in Australia's The Independent today reads:

Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die

I can't remember another case when the media around the world, in news articles, not just commentary, used such strong words in reporting on an upcoming execution, as it has with Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. [More...]

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"Happy Snap" Taken by Indo Cop on Death Plane

Here's the police chief of Densepar, Indonesia, Djoko Hari Utomoposing, posing for his "happy snap" with Andrew Chan, on the Wings Air plane en route to the death island where Chan, Myuran and 8 others will be killed.

The photos were released to the media by the police. The Chief, who appears to be staring right into the camera, says:

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Bali 9 Duo Transferred to Death Island

Just another day in Paradise. Escorted by two fighter jets carrying live missiles, commercial budget airline Wings Air, owned by Lion Air, today flew Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran from Bali to Cilacap, where they were then taken by ferry to Nusakambangan, Indonesia’s death island where within days, they and 8 other convicted drug offenders will be driven at midnight to a killing field, tied to wooden posts and shot to death simultaneously.

According to news reports, Andrew and Myuran were silent as they were led to an armored vehicle to be taken to the airport, but thanked the guards as they left for their treatment during the decade they spent at Bali's hellhole Kerobokan prison.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says "We are frankly revolted." He says there's little chance of a change of heart, and Indonesia is just digging in its heels. [More...]

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Pres. Widodo Rejects Clemency, Locals Burn Thief Alive

Indonesia President Joko Widodo has rejected Austrialian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's plea for mercy for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, which was made by telephone call earlier in the week.

In an interview with daily business newspaper Kontan on Friday, the President reiterated that he would not commute the sentences imposed on drug traffickers as the country was in a state of emergency caused by drug abuse. He insisted that the executions of the convicts would go ahead as scheduled. On Thursday, the government had initially kept silent after Abbott issued his statement.

“Our position is clear: our laws cannot be interfered with,” the newspaper quoted Jokowi as saying.

In West Java (Indonesia's death island and killing fields are in Central Java) the locals have taken to burning car and motorcycle thieves alive (called lynchings), saying prison isn't an acceptable punishment, because when they get out, they'll steal again.[More...]

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Indonesia: The Coffins Have Arrived, Widodo Holds Firm

Today it was announced ten coffins have arrived on Nusakambangan island, Indonesia's island of death.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has refused to budge on the imminent executions of drug offenders, which by all accounts will proceed as soon as possible. He has tuned out requests by leaders of Brazil, Nigeria, France, the Philippines, and especially Australia.

What is fueling his stubborn resistance? He says other countries need to butt out and let Indonesia enforce its laws. He says this is about legal sovereignty and Indonesia's dignity. Shorter version: the politics of pride and nationalism. [More...]

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Indonesia President: Religious Tolerance Best Response to Terrorism

Indonesia President Joko Widodo said this month Indonesia's approach to terrorism is one of tolerance, not security.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Wednesday that Indonesia practiced religious tolerance and was using cultural approaches to eradicate terrorism in the country, rather than adopting a security approach.

“We have shown that tolerance and mutual respect is strong and we always take the middle ground [...]. So there is no immense extremism and that is what other countries see [in us],” said Jokowi on the last day of the sixth Indonesian Muslims Congress (KUII) in Yogyakarta.

Widodo and Indonesia insist on executions of drug mules as a response to the problem of drug trafficking, but for the danger of terrorists, they urge “soft” religious and cultural approaches." Just like Indonesia offers "get of jail free" cards to terrorists.[More...]

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