Asia articles

President Joko Widodo advocates the death penalty to "send a strong message to drug smugglers"

Indonesia to execute drug offenders amid unfair trial claims

Indonesia to execute drug offenders amid unfair trial claims

The Indonesian government is set to execute more than a dozen people for drug offences, despite allegations that inmates’ confessions were induced by torture. These looming executions mark a continuation of the brutal counter-narcotic approach instigated by President Joko Widodo. Although details of the executions have not been officially announced, an anonymous government official told

Indonesia Crocodile

Indonesia plans “special prison” with drug convicts guarded by crocodiles

Drug traffickers in Indonesia will be housed on an island prison surrounded by crocodiles, and then executed by the state, asserts Budi Waseso. Waseso, the head of Indonesia’s anti-drugs agency, justified his plans due to the corruption involved with the drug trade; unlike prison guards, the saltwater predators cannot be persuaded to show compassion, nor

HRI

The Simple Funding Fix That Could Dramatically Reduce Drug-Related Deaths

At this year’s UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the four men and two women who were executed in Indonesia by firing squad in January were a source of much discussion. The six victims were convicted of trafficking under Indonesia’s draconian drug laws, and the executions sparked international outcry. Yet these horrific events represent just one

Indonesia executed eight people for drug offenses in April

Mass Executions of Drug Offenders Won’t Help Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was elected in July 2014. Hailed as a man of the people, his campaign was built on a platform of human rights. He updated Jakarta’s drainage system, kick-started health care reform, and built a reputation as a leader who implements policies based on pragmatism and common sense. But on January

Malaysia has some of the harshest drug laws in the world.

Moving the Needle on Drug Policy in Asia

Bad drug policies can drive health crises and damage individuals and communities. They can also become the regional norm as countries copy their neighbors. Asia boasts some of the harshest laws in the world, including the death penalty for drugs and caning of drug users. These laws steer people away from lifesaving health services and fill

Kerala Toddy Shop (Photo: Mahendra Palsule)

Alcohol Prohibition in Kerala: A Dangerous Development

Last week, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the local government outlined its intention to make the state “liquor free” by closing bars, implementing alcohol-free days, and restricting sale to ‘five-star’ hotels and shops that sell toddy – a traditional liquor made from the sap of palm trees. The end goal, the state’s Chief

WHO Flag

The Importance of the WHO’s Call for Drug Decriminalisation

Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for the decriminalisation of drug use. This is one of the most significant developments in drug policy reform, as the United Nations – the WHO’s parent organisation – was responsible for creating the international laws that form the basis of global drug prohibition. In 1961, the UN

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