You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Death penalty on PM's agenda in Indonesia

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/07/2016 Sarah Robson

Mr Key has previously talked to Mr Widodo about the threat posed by foreign fighters returning from the Middle East to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. © Getty Images Mr Key has previously talked to Mr Widodo about the threat posed by foreign fighters returning from the Middle East to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. Trade won't be the only thing on Prime Minister John Key's mind when he holds formal talks with his Indonesia counterpart Joko Widodo.

Mr Key touched down in Jakarta on Sunday evening, kicking off a whirlwind, two-day visit aimed at boosting links between the two countries.

While trade is the major focus of the trip, Mr Key won't be shying away from human rights issues and he'll again be raising New Zealand's "deep opposition" to the death penalty when he meets Mr Widodo on Monday afternoon.

There are more than 200 people on death row in Indonesia, just over a quarter of them for drug-related crimes.

"As we say to all of these countries, while we absolutely have sympathy for what they're dealing with, and while those who commit crimes should be held to account, there are better ways of doing it than the death penalty," Mr Key told reporters.

Indonesia's attorney-general indicated last month that 16 people were set to face the firing squad this year, and that there was the budget to execute another 30 in 2017.

New Zealand was quick to condemn the executions of the Bali Nine ringleaders, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, in April last year.

While Kiwi man Antony de Malmanche avoided the same fate when he was sentenced two months' later, he will spend 15 years in a Bali jail for drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of last week's deadly Bastille Day attack in Nice, terrorism and security issues are going to be on the minds of both leaders.

Mr Key has previously talked to Mr Widodo about the threat posed by foreign fighters returning from the Middle East to countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.

Terrorist groups have been operating in Indonesia for a long period of time and despite the relative calm since the 2002 Bali bombings, Mr Key has been worried about the potential for that to change.

In January, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Jakarta that left eight people, including three civilians, dead.

Last week's ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on China's claims in the South China Sea is also likely to be up for discussion.

On the trade front, New Zealand's ongoing push for a better deal with Indonesia for its beef exports will be front and centre, but Mr Key has said he's keen to cash in on opportunities in the education and renewable energy sectors.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon