Indonesia’s drug chief supports Philippine-style murders

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Indonesia’s anti-drug chief has encouraged the nation to apply brutal crackdown methods on traffickers like the ones led by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

As Indonesia continues its fight against drug traffickers, anti-narcotics chief Budi Waseso recently praised Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s work, namely his order for citizens and law enforcement to murder suspected drug offender, 3,000 of whom have been executed since May.

TRIAD CONNECTION. President Rodrigo R. Duterte shows a copy of a diagram showing the connection of high level drug syndicates operating in the country during a press conference at Malacañang on July 7, 2016. KING RODRIGUEZ/Presidential Photographers Division

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte | Photo by Wikipedia

In the Philippines, Duterte – known by some as ‘The Punisher’ – recently gave police permission to shoot alleged drug users on sight who refused to turn themselves in. Waseso, who previously proposed the idea of guarding death row traffickers on a prison island surrounded by crocodiles, believes that such punishment would protect the country.

“The life of a dealer is meaningless because [he] carries out mass murder,” said Waseso during a press conference held by Indonesia’s anti-narcotics agency (BNN).

In a bid to eradicate drug traffickers, Waseso revealed that BNN currently has plans to hire more personnel and get more weapons in the way the Philippines has done:

“If such a policy were implemented in Indonesia, we believe that the number of drug traffickers and users in our beloved country would drop drastically.”

Despite Waseso’s determination to adopt Duterte’s approach, BNN spokesman Slamet Pribadi reminded the public that Indonesia should also consider its own policies when dealing with drug traffickers. “We can’t shoot criminals just like that, we have to follow the rules,” he said. 

Regardless, he acknowledged that Waseso does take his job very seriously, even advising staff members to use their guns for the sake of law enforcement.

Questioning Waseso’s call for this Philippine-style policy revision, Human Rights Watch criticized President Duterte for justifying the war on drugs at the expense of public murders without due process. Out of the thousands of people killed during the Philippines’ crackdown, several of them have included children who police chalked up as “collateral damage.

Despite international condemnation, Indonesia has maintained its war against drug traffickers by stepping up executions of those convicted.  In July, the country killed four drug smugglers, which included both locals and expats.

President Duterte will make a visit to Jakarta later this week to meet President Joko Widodo and further discuss ways to combat drug trafficking in the region.

What are the dangers associated with a top Indonesian official supporting this kind of drug policy?

Featured Image via Stevepb; post image via Wikimedia 

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Caranissa is an editor at Indonesia Expat. She occassionally writes, dances and performs on stage.


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