Despite appeals from relatives, rights advocates and foreign governments, Indonesia is going ahead with its plans to execute 14 people for drug crimes. A convoy of ambulances, most of them carrying coffins, arrived at the nearest port to the Nusa Kambangan prison island, where the convicts will be executed by firing squads. Family members were also seen visiting the island.

Indonesia execute drug offenders
Indonesian police guard Wijayapura port, the entrance to Nusakambangan prisonUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images
Indonesia execute drug offenders
Relatives of death row prisoners arrive at Wijayapura port to visit Nusakambangan prisonUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images
Indonesia execute drug offenders
A ferry transports ambulances carrying coffins to Nusakambangan prisonUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images

Indonesia has not released an official list of those to be executed, but the country's attorney-general said 14 people would be put to death. Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH), which is involved in some of the death row cases, has given names for four Indonesians, five Nigerians, two Zimbabweans, one South African, one Indian and one Pakistani.

Lawyers and rights groups have raised serious doubts about the legitimacy of the convictions in several of the drug cases, including that of Pakistani Zulfikar Ali, Indonesian Merri Utami and Nigerian Humphrey Jefferson. About 10 women protesting in Cilacap against Utami's death sentence were arrested.

Indonesia execute drug offenders
A woman holds a placard which reads "Clemency for Merry Utami" near the gate to the ferry port for the prison island of Nusa KambanganDarren Whiteside/Reuters
Indonesia execute drug offenders
An Indonesian police woman arrests a protester demonstrating against the planned execution of death row prisoner Merry UtamiUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images
Indonesia execute drug offenders
Women protesting against the planned execution of Merry Utami are arrestedUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images

According to Indonesia's women's rights commission, a government-backed body that functions independently, Utami had gone to Taiwan to work as a maid to escape her abusive husband. After divorcing him, she got involved with a man who took her to Nepal. Utami says that when the pair returned separately to Indonesia, the man gave her a bag to carry that contained heroin, but she had not realised this.

Rights groups have compared Utami's case to that of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino maid found guilty of drug trafficking in Indonesia and due to face a firing squad last year. Veloso was granted a last-minute reprieve following a request from Manila after an employment recruiter, whom Veloso had accused of planting drugs in her luggage, confessed to police in the Philippines. Female migrant workers are the perfect targets for drug trafficking rings because they are often poor, with limited education, but they hold passports.

In Cilacap, the sister-in-law of Michael Titus, a Nigerian sentenced to death, said his Indonesian wife was returning to Indonesia from West Africa in the hope she would be able to see him a final time. "We will keep fighting to seek justice for our family," said the relative, Nila, who used one name. "Michael is not alone. He has a wife, kids."

Indonesia execute drug offenders
Nila, sister-in-law of Nigerian death row prisoner Michael Titus, arrives at Wijayapura port, the entrance to Nusakambangan prisonUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images
Indonesia execute drug offenders
Protesters take part in a protest against Indonesia's decision to execute 14 drug convicts, including one Nigerian national, outside the Indonesian embassy in AbujaAfolabi Sotunde/Reuters

From Pakistan, a sister of Ali made an emotional appeal to the Indonesian authorities to review his case. Family members said the Indonesian government had arranged a final meeting between Ali and his wife and mother, who travelled to Indonesia.

"My brother is not a drug smuggler. I swear he is innocent," said Sajida Bibi. "I want to see my brother alive," she sobbed. "Don't send his body to us."

Indonesia execute drug offenders
Relatives carry a photograph of Pakistani national Zulfiqar Ali, who was sentenced to death in 2005 for heroin possession in Indonesia, during a protest in LahoreArif Ali/AFP

The Indonesian government says the death penalty is necessary for drug crimes as the country is facing a drug epidemic, particularly affecting young people. But critics argue capital punishment is not an effective deterrent and some have also questioned the accuracy of the government's drug abuse statistics.

Muhammad Rum, a spokesman for Indonesia's attorney-general, said the executions are the "implementation of our positive laws" and will not be delayed or stopped. All the cases have gone through a long legal process including appeals, he said. "They all have been given chances at all stages." The foreign ministry also defended the use of capital punishment and the legal process.

Indonesia execute drug offenders
An Indonesian man lights a candle during an anti-execution rally in front of the presidential palace in JakartaBay Ismoyo/AFP
Indonesia execute drug offenders
A poster in support of Nigerian death-row prisoner Humphrey Jefferson is seen during a demonstration in front of the Presidential Palace in JakartaBeawiharta/Reuters
Indonesia execute drug offenders
A protester lights a candle beside a poster reading "Jokowi, stop executions" in front of the Presidential Palace in JakartaBeawiharta/Reuters
Indonesia execute drug offenders
Protesters hold candles in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta during a demonstration against Indonesia's decision to execute 14 drug convictsBeawiharta/Reuters
Indonesia execute drug offenders
Indonesian police stand guard at the entrance gate to Nusakambangan prisonUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images
Indonesia execute drug offenders
A ferry transports Indonesian police patrol cars to Nusakambangan prisonUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images
Indonesia execute drug offenders
Children swim at Wijaya Pura port, with Nusa Kambangan prison island in the distanceUlet Ifanasti/Getty Images

This will be the third set of executions under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, who campaigned on promises to improve human rights. His two-year-old administration will have executed more people than were executed in the previous decade. Fourteen were put to death last year.