Asia: Indonesia kills 3 Nigerians by firing squaad in its lastest round of execution.

Four prisoners have been executed at Nusakambangan prison in Indonesia, while 10 have been spared the firing squad, in the first round of executions since two Australians were put to death last year.

The confirmation came just after midnight (local time) and took place despite heavy rain and thunderstorms. Deputy Attorney-General for General Crimes Noor Rachmad said one local and three Nigerian drug convicts were executed by firing squad.

"The executions were for now conducted on four convicts on death row," he said. "This is not a fun job. For us, this is really a sad job because it involves people's lives. "This was done not in order to take lives but to stop evil intentions, and the evil act of drug trafficking."

He did not say why 10 other drug convicts, who had been expected to face the firing squad, were not executed, although the island where the convicts were being put to death was hit by a major storm as the executions took place.

But Mr Rachmad did say that "the rest [of the executions] will be carried out in stages", saying that the timings had not yet been decided. Amnesty labels executions a 'deplorable act'.

The executions came after days of protests with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union voicing opposition to the plan.

Amnesty International condemned the executions, with the group's Rafendi Djamin labelling them "a deplorable act".

"Any executions that are still to take place must be halted immediately. The injustice already done cannot be reversed, but there is still hope that it won't be compounded," he said. The day before was one of frenetic activity, with distraught relatives travelling to Nusakambangan island to say farewells to their loved ones and ambulances carrying coffins over to the heavily guarded penal colony.

The executed Indonesian was named as Freddy Budiman, while the three others, Nigerians, were: Seck Osmane, Humphrey Jefferson Ejike Eleweke and Michael Titus Igweh. 

Two people whose cases had raised high-profile international concern among rights groups were not executed. The first was Pakistani Zulfiqar Ali, whom rights groups say was beaten into confessing to the crime of heroin possession, leading to his 2005 death sentence.

The other was Indonesian woman Merri Utami, who was caught with heroin in her bag as she came through Jakarta airport and claims she was duped into becoming a drug mule.

Claims of unfair trials, torture.

There were 14 people on the original list for the executions, including Utami — its one woman — although some were seeking last-minute clemency. The 14 included Nigerian, Pakistani, Zimbabwean and Indian nationals, as well as a prisoner from Senegal.

There were claims a number of prisoners had received unfair trials and some had allegedly been tortured to confess. The Pakistani Government had pleaded for presidential clemency for Ali, who was sentenced to death in 2005 for supplying 300 grams of heroin.

There were also question marks over the guilt of one of the Nigerian men, and clemency had been sought for Indonesian Utami.

On Wednesday, the mother of Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran, who was executed last year, sent a letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo pleading with him to show mercy. Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were executed by firing squad in April 2015, after being convicted of drug trafficking.

Asia: Indonesia kills 3 Nigerians by firing squaad in its lastest round of execution. Asia: Indonesia kills 3 Nigerians by firing squaad in its lastest round of execution. Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Friday, 29 July 2016 Rating: 5

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