Three Nigerians and one Indonesian were executed by firing squad shortly after midnight local time, reports say.
Those who were executed have been named as three Nigerians – Seck Osmane, Humphrey Jefferson Ejike, Michael Titus Igweh and one Indonesian Freddy Budiman.
Those who remain on death row include three other Indonesians, a Pakistani, an Indian, two other Nigerians and two Zimbabweans. It is not clear why their executions did not proceed.
“Of course there are considerations for it,” was all Deputy Attorney General for Crimes, Noor Rachmad would say. He said those who had been executed had filed for judicial reviews twice and both were rejected.
There has been no confirmation yet from the government. The remaining 10 are expected to be put to death in the coming days. Human rights organisation Amnesty International condemned the executions as a “deplorable act that violates international and Indonesian law”.
Relatives had gathered there earlier in the day to say goodbye to loved ones. It also said 17 ambulances were sent to the island – 14 of them carrying coffins, Jakarta Post reports.
All 14 had been moved into isolation cells ahead of the executions. A vigil was held outside the presidential palace on Thursday night to protest against the executions, although most Indonesians support the death penalty for drug offences according to opinion polls.
The government insists they are a necessary deterrent in the war against drugs, with officials regularly citing statistics that 40 to 50 people die from drug-related causes a day.
“It is an action to stop the rapid spread of drug in Indonesia – today Indonesia has become the main destination in the Asian market,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir.