The Indian government is making efforts to save an Indian who faces execution in Indonesia on Thursday July 28. Picture: An Indonesian police officer talks to a suspected drug smuggler before he and others are displayed to reporters at the National Narcotics Agency office in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 27, 2016.Reuters

The Indian government is making efforts to save an Indian who faces execution in Indonesia on Thursday July 28. Gurdip Singh, who hails from Jalandhar in Punjab, is one of the 14 people who are facing execution in a drug related case.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has said that the government is "making last minute efforts to save him (Singh) from execution."

Singh, 48, was found guilty of smuggling 300 gm of heroin into Indonesia in 2004. The state district court at Tanggerang in the province of Banten sentenced him to death in February 2005 even though prosecutors suggested a jail term of 20 years, the Hindustan Times reported.

Others who are facing execution today include Pakistani citizen Zulfiqar Ali, one person each from Zimbabwe, Senegal and South Africa, and five Nigerians. Four Indonesians are also among the 14 who were sentenced to death.

The country's decision to resume implementing death penalties has been criticised by human rights organisations, including Amnesty International. The non-governmental organisation has criticised the Indonesian government's decision, saying some of the accused were "convicted in manifestly unfair trials and have not submitted clemency request to the President."

The organisation also found that defendants in 12 cases were "denied access to legal counsel at the time of their arrest, and at different periods thereafter. Some claimed they were subject to torture and other ill-treatment while in police custody, and were forced to "confess" to their alleged crimes."

"Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as 'Jokowi', will be putting his government on the wrong side of history if he proceeds with a fresh round of executions... There is no evidence to support President Widodo's position," Josef Benedict, the Deputy Director of Amnesty's Southeast Asia and Pacific regional office, said in a statement. "The death penalty does not deter crime. Carrying out executions will not rid Indonesia of drugs. It is never the solution, and it will damage Indonesia's standing in the world."  

The statement added that the country had a strong record of fighting for the rights of its citizens on death row abroad, but government authorities do not consistently uphold that position at home.

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