INDONESIAN daily The Jakarta Post has issued an apology over an embarrassing mistake on its front page story regarding the executions of drug offenders on Friday.
The front page lead story reported that 14 inmates were executed, but only four actually faced the firing squad just after midnight.
“The Jakarta Post made a serious error of judgment on Thursday night when it decided to run on the front page headline story for the Friday edition with the title ‘Firing squads kill convicts,'” read the apology on its website by editor-in-chief Endy M. Bayuni.
Endy said the story also mentioned that Zulfikar Ali, an inmate on death row and the brother of the woman in the photo, was among the 14 who were executed.
“We learned later that four were actually executed and the other 10, including Zulfikar Ali, have been spared, but the paper had already gone into circulation and delivered to readers as has the electronic-version of the paper,” he explained.
Endy said the failure to properly verify the facts before running the story is completely unprofessional and is a serious violation of the good journalistic practices.
“The Jakarta Post sincerely apologizes to all our readers, particularly to all those affected by the story, for this major failure,” he wrote.
— Mayang Schreiber (@MayangSchreiber) July 29, 2016
Authorities executed Indonesian Freddy Budiman, Seck Osmane from Senegal, and Nigerians Michael Titus Igweh and Humphrey Jefferson Ejike by firing squad at around midnight local time during a thunderstorm at the prison facility on Nusakambangan Island.
The four were executed for drug offences despite international calls this week to put a halt to executions.
The fate of the other 10 inmates, comprising citizens of India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, is yet to be made known, but an official said the planned executions would go through “in stages”, declining to specify a timeframe.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has defended the country’s continued use of the death penalty, calling it a necessity in the war against drugs.