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UN 'shadow report' blasts drug war as 'failure'

earthAn international network of non-governmental organizations has submitted a "shadow report" to the United Nations, calling the war on drugs a "spectacular failure"—and calling on the world's governments to reconsider it. The report takes heart from the growing official tolerance of cannabis in several countries around the world, but warns of escalating and horrific repression in the name of drug enforcement in several others. Will the UN take heed when it revisits the question of drug policy in 2019?

Sri Lanka to 'replicate' Philippine drug-war police state

Posted on July 17th, 2018 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

South AsiaSri Lanka has announced that it will start hanging drug convicts, ending a long moratorium on executions. Leaders explicitly hope to "replicate the success" of Rodrigo Duterte's bloody anti-drug campaign in the Philippines, which has now reached the point of mass murder. And while the imminent executions are for cocaine and heroin charges, the move comes amid a widening crackdown on cannabis. Yet proposals to allow medical cultivation provide some hope for a more tolerant model.

UK khat ban fails to stop contraband imports —surprise!

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

khatHere's some news that should surprise nobody. International efforts to suppress the trade in a psychoactive plant are failing to do so, but are jacking up the social costs of its use—which might be quite negligible if the stuff weren't illegal. In this case we're talking about khat, the mildly stimulating leaf that is chewed socially in the Horn of Africa and its immigrant diaspora. It was sold openly at groceries and eateries in London's African communities until Britain finally banned the stuff in of 2014, following the example of the United States (of course). At that time, it became a Class C substance under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act. By way of comparison, cannabis is in the more restrictive Class B—although between 2004 and 2008 pot was placed in Class C, and there is an initiative to have it removed from the classification system altogether.

Indonesia unleashes 'shoot-to-kill' policy on drug suspects

Posted on October 5th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

South East AsiaIndonesian President Joko Widodo, following in the bloody footsteps of the Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte, has issued a "shoot-on-sight" policy for drug suspects. The hardline policy comes amid a sudden media blitz about the drug "state of emergency" in the archipelago nation. Amnesty International says it believes at least 60 drug suspects (including at least eight foreigners) have been killed by Indonesian police so far this year—compared with just 18 in all of 2016.

Indonesia executes four drug convicts

Posted on August 1st, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

South East Asia Indonesia carried out its first executions in over a year on July 29, sending four drug convicts to a firing squad at the special island prison of Nusa Kambangan. The executions of the four—two Nigerians, one Senegalese and one Indonesian—came despite diplomatic pressure and international condemnation. As many as 10 other people await execution in Indonesia—including foreign nationals, and almost entirely on drug-related charges. Campaigners are still trying to win clemency for Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani man who "confessed" to heroin possession after being brutally beaten by police, and Merri Utami, an Indonesian woman arrested with heroin in her bag at Jakarta's airport after being tricked into becoming a drug mule. Their executions are believed to be imminent.

Torture on Indonesia's death row

Posted on October 18th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

South East AsiaAmnesty International on Oct. 15 released a report finding that Death Row inmates in Indonesia are routinely beaten and coerced into confessions, and denied the right to counsel. President Joko Widodo's government has executed 14 prisoners since  he took office in October 2014—all for drug charges. According to the report, dubbed "Flawed Justice," in half of the 12 cases Amnesty analyzed, prisoners said their "confessions" were extracted by torture. One Pakistani man, Zulfiqar Ali, was held incommunicado at a private house for three days as police brutalized him. He was beaten so badly he required kidney and stomach surgery—but his confession was still used against him in court. No other independent investigation into the heroin charge against him was carried out. Amnesty is urging Indonesia to instate a moratorium on the death penalty and create an independent body to review Death Row cases.

Napalm Death frontman to Indonesia: don't execute grandma!

Posted on February 7th, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

South East AsiaIndonesia, facing global criticism over a spate of executions of foreigners on drug charges, is now under pressure from the grindcore lobby. The Independent reported Feb. 3 that Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway is personally petitioning President Joko Widodo for clemency—taking advantage of the fact that His Excellency Widodo is an avid fan. (The Independent amusingly shows him wearing a Napalm Death T-shit.) Last month, Greenway appealed in the case of two Australian members of the "Bali Nine," Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, facing execution on a heroin trafficking charge. Chan and Sukumaran are apparently also metal fans, and Greenway is reaching out to Widodo in a spirit of headbanger solidarity. Now, the English rocker has released an open letter to Widodo urging clemency for Lindsay Sandiford, a 57-year-old British grandmother who faces the firing squad in Bali on a coke-smuggling charge. Adopting considerably more dulcet tones than he uses onstage, Greeway writes:

Indonesia executes six on drug charges

Posted on January 19th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

South East AsiaIndonesia executed six convicted on drug charges Jan. 17, rejecting last-minute appeals for clemency from international leaders. Four men from Brazil (possession of 13 kilos of cocaine), Malawi (1 kilo of heroin), Nigeria (1 kilo heroin) and the Netherlands (ecstacy production) and one Indonesian woman (3 kilos heroin) were put to death by firing squad on Nusakambangan Island, off the southern coast of Java. Another woman from Vietnam (1 kilo of methamphetamine) was executed in Boyolali, in central Java. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders were among world leaders to speak out against the executions. Koenders called them "a cruel and inhumane punishment... an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity." Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors in protest after the executions were carried out. Amnesty International called the executions a "retrograde step" for human rights.

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