Refuge Network International

More Nigerians on death row in Indonesia: how the executions are carried out

The eight people who were executed in Indonesia on 29 April 2015. Top row from left (including two of the Bali Nine): Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, Nigerian Okwuduli Oyatanze and Nigerian Martin Anderson. Bottom row from left: Nigerians Raheem Agbaje Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, Zainal Abidin. Two others (not pictured) who were scheduled to be executed were given a temporary reprieve.

8 executed on April 28,2015


This year, Indonesia has so far carried out two operations to execute drug convicts who had exhausted all legal avenues open to them for appeal.Five foreigners, including two Nigerians Daniel Enemuo and Solomon Chibuike (wrongly identified as a Malawian, as he used a Malawi passport), were killed in January, while 8 were executed this week.

Final artwork by one of the Australian convicts


The 8 executed convicts wrote these words and signed on the back of the artwork before their execution.


The head of Indonesia’s National  Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) , Anang Iskandar has revealed that there are 60 more drug convicts awaiting execution in Indonesia.Of these,Nigerians constitute one of the highest numbers of foreigners.Among the Nigerians currently on death row in Indonesian prison are Kingsley Okonkwo, Michael Titus Igwe, Izuchukwu Ezioha, Ekperedike  S. Olekama,  Adam Wilson, Hilary K. Chinezie, Eugene Ape, Humprey Ejike,Obinna Nwajiagu, Fredrick Luther ( Benjamin Obiora),Dennis Anumora and Ikenna Ezenweukwe.

How executions are carried out in Indonesia:

  • Death-row convicts are to be moved to a prison or an isolation cell of a prosecutor’s choosing where he or she will be informed of their execution three days beforehand.
  • The execution must not be made public and should be done as simple as possible unless the president orders otherwise.
  • The convict, dressed simply, will be escorted by the police to the designated location of the execution. The convict may also request religious counsel to accompany him or her.
  • Prisoners are executed by firing squad, recruited from a special unit of the police.The provincial police will form a firing squad made up of 12 enlisted officers and one non-commissioned officer who will be led by a high-ranking officer.
  • Recruits for the firing squad are chosen based on their marksmanship and “physical and spiritual health”. They are given counselling before and after executions.
  • Inmates are moved into isolation cells 72 hours before execution. Families and religious counsellors are allowed visits up to a few hours before execution.
  • Prisoners are given the choice to stand, kneel or sit before the firing squad, and to be blindfolded. Their hands and feet are tied.
  • Once the convict is deemed ready, the firing squad will be called upon with their firearms where they will position themselves no less than 5 meters and no more than 10 meters from the convict.
  • Each prisoner has 12 marksmen aiming rifles at his or her heart. Only three of the 12 have live ammunition in their weapons. Authorities say this is so that the executioner remains unidentified.
  • The prosecutor will then order the execution to start, to which the firing squad’s commander will lift up his sword to signal the squad to focus their firearms on the convict’s heart and then put down the sword to order the shooting to start.
  • Medical personnel are on site to pronounce the prisoner dead after execution.
  • If the convict still shows signs of life, the police commander will order the non-commissioned officer to take the final shot at the convict’s head, near the ear. A doctor will then confirm whether the convict has died.
  • Bodies are cleaned and handed over to families, who wait outside the prison during the execution.
  • The convict’s family or close friends are responsible for the convict’s burial unless the prosecutor says otherwise. If the convict cannot be buried by their family or friends then the government will organize a burial based on the convict’s religious beliefs.

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