Indonesian President Joko Widodo is pushing back at foreign pressure over the execution of drug dealers, including Brazil's delay in welcoming a new ambassador from Jakarta.
At a news conference in Jakarta Tuesday, the president, who is widely known as Jokowi, said the Brazilian issue is a matter of honor of the nation.
“There must be no intervention on the execution of convicted drug dealers,” he said. “It is an issue of our rule of law, of our political sovereignty and positively in our law, death sentence is included."
Widodo spoke in reference to the Brazilian president’s delay in accepting the credentials of the would-be Indonesian ambassador Toto Riyanto, presumably in connection with the death sentence of a Brazilian drug dealer.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Mursadi said even if no reason has been given by Brazil, the government has sent a letter of protest to the Brazilian Embassy in Jakarta.
“The ambassador was there not on his personal capacity, but brought with him a letter of credential from the president of Indonesia to represent our country there. We don’t know why this could happen, because we never imagined that it could happen. Therefore we have sent a strong protest,” Mursadi said.
Since 2013, Indonesia has carried out at least 10 executions of convicted drug traffickers. Five foreign nationals, including Brazilian citizen Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, were executed by firing squad in January.
Despite denying clemency requests from Australia, Brazil, France and the Netherlands, the president said he wants better international relations.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.