Indonesia prepares to execute up to 13 prisoners, including many foreigners

Attorney General M. Prasetyo says preparations are underway to carry out the execution of several death row prisoners.

Exactly a year after Indonesia sent the 'Bali Nine' drug convicts to the firing squad inviting harsh censure from the world for the mass killing, Jakarta has said it's preparing to execute up to 13 prisoners in the next few days.

Indonesian Attorney General M. Prasetyo said on Friday preparations are underway to carry out the execution of several death row prisoners.

The executions could take place as early as next week and the attorney general's office is coordinating with the appropriate institutions, Prasetyo said, according to the Jakarta Globe newspaper.

The executions are likely to take place at the same Nusakambangan prison island where eight drug convicts belonging to the so-called Bali Nine trafficking ring, including two Australians, were shot dead on April 29 last year.

The report says up to 13 convicts will be executed and this includes between seven and 10 foreign nationals. The identities of the death row inmates to be executed imminently were, however, not released as yet.

The date for the executions is not deiced yet, Prasetyo said, but local reports claimed the chatter in the administrative circles hinted that the executions will take place on May 7.

The official added that Nusakambangan prison off the coast of Cilacap, Central Java, would be "the ideal place."

"We will see later, when [the executions] will take place," Prasetyo was quoted as saying by, the Post said.

Indonesia has harsh laws in place that make it easy to award death penalty for an array of crimes, especially drug related crimes.

President Joko Widodo declared a "drug emergency" in the country after coming to power, speeding up a process to carry out a large number of pending executions in mainly drug offences.

Before the execution of eight convicts on the same day on April 29 last year, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Jakarta sent to death six prisoners in January.

At a recent UN conference on narcotics, Indonesia defended its wide use of the death penalty in drug trafficking cases.

"Indonesia and like-minded countries ... face diverse challenges in handling drugs and the death penalty is one of the options based on sovereignty of the law in each country," a foreign ministry statement said.