A Catholic priest who was present at Nusakambangan prison in Indonesia during last Thursday’s executions of three Nigerian drug convicts and one local drug lord, has described the experience as ‘traumatic’
Father Charles Burrows, who is based in Cilacap near the prison, was called there to speak with two of of the three Nigerians, who were among 4 death row prisoners executed by firing squad.
Father Burrows said he doesn’t know if the executed prisoners suffered. He said he had been present in the past when it has taken several minutes for prisoners to die.
“The first time, it was seven to eight minutes, and then there were some of the other times it was 15 minutes and they still weren’t, hadn’t expired,” he said. “And the captain has to wait with a pistol and shoot into the brain.” he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Father Burrows said he went with the other ministers from different spiritualities to the “shooting place”, because there was no time to speak with them in their cells, with great confusion in the lead-up to the execution. He said it was a “traumatic experience”. The ministers prayed together while four ministers spoke to the four men who were executed.
“They were given some minutes to talk to the prisoners or console them somewhat. Then they came back and the prisoners were tied to the stakes. And then they went, were given another few minutes. They were shot pretty quickly after that.”
Father Burrows said the executed prisoners were “seemingly” blindfolded first, and remained dignified until the end.
“There was a lot of anger in the first state (last year’s execution) not last night,” Father Burrows said of the latest executions. But eventually … they realise they’re going to die, so you best try and die with dignity.”
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Attorney General has refused to explain why 10 prisoners, including one Indonesian woman, received an 11th hour reprieve from the firing squad.
Authorities are set to return the bodies of the executed Nigerian death row convicts to the country, Tempo Jakarta reports.