By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The Indonesian Government has announced plans to jail drug offenders separately from other prisoners, as part of its continued campaign against illegal drug traffickers.
The announcement follows consultations by Indonesia’s cabinet and was revealed by Indonesia’s Minister for Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
The use of illicit drugs is rife in Indonesia, with more than 4 million reported drug users making up 2 per cent of the country’s population. Not only is drug abuse an immense social challenge, but results in a hefty economic loss of at least 63 trillion Rupiahs, according to the Jakarta Post.
Newly appointed head of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), Budi Waseso, says that drug users must be separated from drug dealers; stating the need for drug users to be rehabilitated.
The location for the planned penitentiary for drug traffickers is yet to be made known; however, Indonesian officials have revealed that possible locations were being tabled in discussions with the option of having the facility built on a remote island also being taken into account. A prison in West Papua is also being considered.
Indonesia has been largely criticised for its handling of drug offenders. Despite this, Indonesian President, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, has remained firm on his stance on illegal narcotics, labelling the drugs situation in Indonesia as a “narcotics emergency”.
Under the Widodo-led government, two Indonesian nationals and 11 expatriates have been executed on drug charges.