Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has ordered law enforcement officers to shoot drug traffickers to deal with the "narcotics emergency" the country is facing.

"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 a political event late on Friday (21 July).

The order came a week after Indonesian police shot dead a Taiwanese man in a town near the capital Jakarta.

Police said that the man was part of a group trying to smuggle a tonne of crystal methamphetamine into the country and was killed for resisting the arrest.

After the incident, Tito Karnavian, Indonesia's national police chief, reiterated the stance and was quoted by media saying that he had ordered officers not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest.

New York-based Human Rights Watch on Saturday (22 July) criticised Indonesia's police chief and said that Widodo "should send a clear and public message to the police that efforts to address the complex problems of drugs and criminality require the security forces to respect everyone's basic rights, not demolish them."

Widodo's remarks were compared with those of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who had launched a brutal anti-drug crackdown about a year ago which saw thousands of alleged drug dealers and drug users killed.

The hardline anti-drug campaign in the Philippines had drawn criticism from the international community, including the United Nations.

Indonesia has tough laws on drugs and Widodo was previously criticised for ordering executions of convicted drug traffickers who were given death penalty by the court. Rights activists and some governments have called to abolish the death penalty.

Since Widodo took office in 2014, Indonesia has executed around 18 people for drug trafficking, defying international calls for mercy.