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Anger After Indonesia Executed 6 People for Drug Trafficking

Ambulances carrying the body of drug convicts Dutch national Ang Kiem Soe, front, and Brazilian national Marco Moreira, leave from Nusakambangan island where their executions were held, at Wijayapura port in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, Jan. 18, 2015

Brazil and the Netherlands have recalled their ambassadors to Indonesia after the Southeast Asian country ignored their pleas for clemency and executed six people, including five foreigners, for drug trafficking.

The attorney general's office says five foreigners and one Indonesian were executed by firing squad just after midnight Sunday morning in Central Java province.

"It is a form of assertiveness of Indonesia's government that we will never be in compromise with the perpetrators, dealers and drug syndicates," said Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders called the executions "a cruel and inhuman punishment that amounts to an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity."

A statement from the Brazilian government said using the death penalty severely affects relations between the two countries.

Citizens of Malawi, Nigeria and Vietnam were also shot to death, along with those from Brazil and the Netherlands.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, rejected clemency requests in keeping with a hard-line stance toward drug offenders.

Human rights group Amnesty International labeled the death penalty "a human rights violation."

Amnesty's research director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Rupert Abbott, said in a recent statement that "the new administration took office on the back of promises to improve respect for human rights," and the execution of six people is "a regressive move."

Indonesia resumed capital punishment in 2013 after a five-year gap. No executions took place in 2014, but the Indonesian government has indicated there will be more this year.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.