Utrecht man executed after appeals from King, PM Rutte

ang kiem soei
Dutch citizen Ang Kiem Soei, executed on Jan. 18, 2015 in Indonesia. Dutch citizen Ang Kiem Soei, executed on Jan. 18, 2015 in Indonesia

Even after calls from King Willem-Alexander, Dutch citizen Ang Kiem Soei was executed at roughly 12:30 a.m. Sunday (local time) in Indonesia. Soei, from Utrecht but born in Papua, was killed by a firing squad.

It is “tragic and very disappointing” that to cancel the state execution “have not led to a positive result,” Foreign Minister Bert Koenders writes in a statement.

Soei, 62, received a death sentence in 2003 following a conviction for producing ecstasy in an Indonesian drug lab. His lawyer called the trial “flawed in many ways.”

“The government has used all possible means to persuade Indonesian authorities to stop the execution on legal, diplomatic, political, bilateral and European levels,” writes Koenders. “Right up to the highest level, everything was done to prevent the execution. For this purpose, his Majesty the King made contact with Indonesian President Widodo,” Koenders affirms.

It is not clear what consequences this will have on the future of relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

“Also, there has been intensive contacts at the political level,” he continues. “Prime Minister Rutte wrote a letter to President Widodo and I have repeatedly spoken with my Indonesian colleagues.”

Koenders recalled the Netherlands ambassador to Indonesia to further discuss the situation. The diplomat representing Indonesia in the Netherlands has also been asked to further explain what happened.

Bart Stapert, Soei's lawyer, says Soei was grateful for efforts by the Netherlands to prevent his death. Stapert called the situation inhuman.

Soei was cremated following his death.

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