France summons Indonesian ambassador over citizen on death row

Agence France-Presse
France summons Indonesian ambassador over citizen on death row

EPA

Serge Atlaoui's relatives are begging French President Francois Hollande and the European Union to save him

 

PARIS, France – France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius summoned the Indonesian ambassador on Wednesday, April 22, to discuss the case of a Frenchman facing the death penalty for drug offences, a government spokesman told AFP.

The summons came a day after Serge Atlaoui, 51, had an appeal rejected by Indonesia’s Supreme Court, taking him closer to execution by firing squad for his role in a clandestine ecstasy lab near Jakarta.

Imprisoned in Indonesia for a decade, the father-of-four has always denied the charges, saying he was installing industrial machinery in what he thought was an acrylics factory.

His relatives have issued impassioned appeals in recent days, begging French President Francois Hollande and the European Union to save him.

“Our family calls on President Francois Hollande and the European Union to do everything possible to save Serge Atlaoui from the firing squad,” his brother Andre told AFP, describing their “dismay”, “suffering” and “lack of understanding” at the court’s decision.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, meanwhile, said Paris continued to hope for a “gesture of clemency” from Indonesia, reiterating that any execution of the 51-year-old would have “consequences” on ties between the two countries. 

Atlaoui is one of several foreign drug convicts on death row in Indonesia who recently lost appeals for presidential clemency. They are expected to be executed once final legal appeals are resolved.

Drug laws in Indonesia are among the world’s toughest.

President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, has been a vocal supporter of putting drug traffickers to death, saying the country is facing a narcotics emergency. – Rappler.com

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