Indonesia awoke to a wave of condemnation Wednesday following its early morning execution of eight drug offenders.
While Indonesia’s attorney general, Muhammad Prasetyo, described the events as part of a “war against horrible drug crimes that threaten our nation’s survival,” Australia recalled its envoy to Jakarta and Brazil expressed “deep dismay.”
Speaking from the Colombian capital, Bogota, Brazil’s Minister for External Relations Mauro Vieira said the government was “dismayed” at the confirmation of the execution.
“We never challenged the charge or the judicial process, and respect the sovereignty of Indonesia,” the ministry quoted Vieira as saying. “But we have always challenged the application of the [death] sentence on humanitarian grounds.”
Brazilian national Rodrigo Gularte, who had been diagnosed with a mental illness, was among the eight, along with others from Australia, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Gularte’s legal team had asked for a stay of execution and clemency, given the fact that he suffered from schizophrenia according to two medical reports performed in 2014 – the G1 news portal reported.
Soon after the execution of the two Australian nationals — Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran — among the eight men, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the country was recalling its ambassador, Paul Grigson.
“These executions are both cruel and unnecessary,” Abbott told reporters during a press conference in Canberra.
“We respect Indonesia’s sovereignty but we do deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual. For that reason, once all the courtesies have been extended to the Chan and Sukumaran families our ambassador will be withdrawn for consultations.”
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Abbott acknowledged the executions as a “dark moment” in the two countries’ relationship.
“I want to stress that this is a very important relationship between Australia and Indonesia but it has suffered as a result of what’s been done over the last few hours,” he said.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the withdrawal of Grigson was to register “displeasure at the way our citizens have been treated.”
She called the executions “senseless,” given that the two Australians are reported to have rehabilitated themselves during their decade in prison.
France condemned the executions and said it remained concerned about the fate of a Frenchman also on death row in the country.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Romain Nadal said in a statement that the government “reiterates its opposition to the death sentence, in all cases and all circumstances” and expressed “solidarity” with the other countries whose nationals were also put to death.
He added that authorities “are fully mobilized to help Serge Atlaoui, whose situation remains very worrying.”
Atlaoui was due to be brought before the firing squad but was granted a delay in execution as his defense team filed an appeal before the execution preparations.
Indonesia rejected personal pleas for clemency from Brazil and Australia and executed the prisoners shortly after midnight on Nusa Kambangan Island off the southern coast of Java.
Those executed were “Bali Nine” duo Chan and Sukumaran; Gularte, a Brazilian; Martin Anderson of Ghana; Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze of Nigeria; and Indonesian national Zainal Abidin.
Indonesia had rejected last-ditch pleas from the prisoners’ families and the international community.
Filipina Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was spared after a response to a request from Manila after her drug recruiter surrendered to police in the Philippines late Tuesday.