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Indonesia Notifies 7 Convicts of Impending Executions

Family members of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino woman on death row for drug offenses, arrive at Wijayapura ferry port to cross to the prison island of Nusakambangan, Indonesia, to which Veloso was moved recently, April 25, 2015.

Indonesia on Saturday officially notified at least seven foreigners on death row for drug trafficking that they would be executed, prompting an appeal from the U.N. chief to spare the convicts.

A lawyer for one of the foreigners said they had been given a 72-hour notice of execution, as required by Indonesian law.

A French national was given a temporary reprieve from execution after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Indonesia to "refrain from carrying out the execution" and called on President Joko Widodo to consider a moratorium on capital punishment.

Among the drug offenders on death row are nationals from Australia, Brazil, France, Nigeria and the Philippines. Indonesia's hard-line stance on its mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking has strained relations with all those countries.

A few days ago, Indonesia asked foreign embassies to send representatives to a maximum-security prison on the island of Nusakambangan to visit the prisoners awaiting execution for drug-trafficking convictions.

Widodo, who took office in October, has been a strong supporter of executing drug offenders, saying the country is facing a narcotics emergency.

In January, the country executed six people convicted of drug trafficking.

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