Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has instructed law enforcement officers to shoot resisting drug traffickers to deal with a ‘narcotics emergency’ facing the country.

“Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest. Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now,” Widodo said in a speech delivered at an event held by one of Indonesia’s political parties late on Friday (Jul 21).

His remarks have drawn comparison to that of Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte, who launched a brutal anti-drug crackdown about a year ago immediately after assuming office that saw many alleged drug dealers and drug lords killed.

The bloody campaign in the Philippines has drawn condemnation from the international community, including the United Nations. Supporters of the Philippine president insists this condemnation was caused by gross misinformation and exaggeration from the country’s Commission on Human Rights and groups sympathetic to a rival political party.

Like the Philippines recently, Indonesia also has tough laws against drugs. Widodo has previously been criticized for ordering executions against convicted drug traffickers who were given a death penalty by the court despite pleas of clemency, prisoner trade or even diplomatic threats. Rights activists and some governments have called on Indonesia to abolish the death penalty.

The Philippines also had a citizen, Mary Jane Veloso on death row there, but was fortunate to have been granted a stay of execution due to major case developments.

Friday’s shooting order from Widodo came a week after Indonesian police shot dead a Taiwanese man in a town near the capital Jakarta.

The man, who was part of a group trying to smuggle one tonne of crystal methamphetamine into the country, was killed for resisting arrest, police have said.

After the incident, Indonesian National Police chief Tito Karnavian was quoted by media saying he had ordered officers not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest.

(Sourced from Channel News Asia & Reuters)