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Indonesia Executes 6, Including Foreigners, for Drug Offenses

In this photo taken by Antara Foto, ambulances carrying coffins make their way to Nusa Kambangan prison at Wijayapura quay, Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia, Jan. 17, 2015.

The Indonesian government says it has put to death six people convicted of drug offenses, including five foreigners.

Tony Spontana, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said four men and an Indonesian woman were shot to death just after midnight Saturday on Nusakambangan island. A Vietnamese woman was executed simultaneously in Boyolali district. Both areas are in Central Java province.

The men were from Brazil, Malawi, Nigeria and the Netherlands.

President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, rejected clemency requests in keeping with a hard-line stance toward drug offenders. Both the Brazilian and Dutch governments made last-minute appeals.

The Brazilian and Dutch governments have recalled their ambassadors to Indonesia for consultations.

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

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

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