Koenders condemns execution of Dutch national in Indonesia

‘The Netherlands condemns the execution of Mr Ang in Indonesia. It is tragic that he and five others have been executed. My sympathies go out to their families, for whom this brings a dramatic end to years of uncertainty.’ This was the response by Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders to the execution of six people sentenced to death for drug offences in Indonesia, including Dutch national Ang Kiem Soei.

‘The death sentence imposed on Mr Ang has been a recurring talking point between Dutch representatives and their Indonesian colleagues in recent years,’ the Minister said. ‘The government has used all possible means – legal, diplomatic and political, at bilateral and European level – to persuade the Indonesian authorities to cancel the execution. Every effort has been made, up to the very highest level, to prevent the execution. His Majesty the King has been in contact with President Widodo. There has also been close contact at political level. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has written to President Widodo and I have repeatedly spoken to my Indonesian counterpart. The Dutch embassy in Jakarta has sought dialogue and cooperation with countries whose citizens were also on the list of those to be executed. I have talked to a number of my colleagues in those countries myself. This week I also sent a special envoy to Indonesia to discuss Mr Ang’s execution with the authorities there. Furthermore, at the initiative of the Netherlands, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini issued a statement condemning the death penalty, in particular the planned execution of a Dutch citizen. The Dutch embassy in Jakarta and my Ministry in The Hague have worked continuously and tirelessly to prevent the execution. It is tragic and deeply disappointing that these efforts have been in vain. In response I have temporarily recalled the Dutch ambassador in Indonesia to the Netherlands for consultations and I have summoned Indonesia’s Chargé d’affaires ad interim in the Netherlands to the Ministry for an explanation. I have also informed the House of Representatives about the matter. The Netherlands is and will remain opposed to the death penalty and its enforcement as a matter of principle. It is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which constitutes an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity. The Netherlands will continue to actively oppose the death penalty, in Indonesia and all over the world.’