Indonesia: Executions will not stop drug problem


Indonesia: Executions will not stop drug problem

23 January 2015

An open letter - signed by more than thirty Indonesian civil society organisations including Rumah Cemara - was sent to the President, Ir. H. Joko Widodo. It calls for an end to all pending executions. A further 64 people – both foreign and Indonesian nationals – have been sentenced to death and are currently waiting on death row.

Indonesia has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in Asia. Injecting drug use is a key driver of new infections. Rumah Cemara takes a harm reduction approach to tackling drug use and HIV. According to Ardhany Suryadarma, their Policy Manager for the EU funded project, Asia Action on Harm Reduction:

“These executions only exacerbate the stigmatisation of people who use drugs, driving them underground and away from methadone programmes and safer injecting equipment. We know the services we provide keep individuals safer and curb the HIV epidemic.”

“In the letter, we call on our President to review Indonesian narcotics law enforcement policy and find more effective approaches to addressing the country’s drugs problem.”

The letter draws on the strong body of evidence which shows that the death penalty for drugs traffickers is not an effective response to the global drug problem, and is in violation of international human rights law.

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