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NZ reiterates opposition to death penalty

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/07/2016 Sarah Robson

Prime Minister John Key doesn't think there's much chance Indonesia will change its tune in the death penalty any time soon.

Mr Key again registered New Zealand's opposition to the death penalty when he met with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo in Jakarta on Monday.

"We raised the issue with them, again just registered our feelings that the death penalty is something that we just cannot and do not support," Mr Key told reporters.

But he doesn't think New Zealand's views will make much difference.

"It's not an issue I think the Indonesians are going to change their position on any time soon," he said.

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

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.

Amnesty International's Meg De Ronde says New Zealand needs to keep up the pressure on Indonesia to put an end to the executions.

"New Zealand must continue to stand really strong and say that we want to live in a world without the death penalty," she told NZ Newswire.

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