Melbourne, Australia- Experts question the said ‘very problematic methodology’ generating a ‘very unreliable’ data in which the president based his tough stance against drugs.
Indonesia, despite international condemnation on the execution of drug convicts (mostly foreigners), keeps its tough war on drugs policy. This year, 14 drug traffickers have been executed, showing President Joko Wikoko’s way of standing behind his war on a said ‘narcotics emergency’ which according to him kills 40 people every day. Experts don’t believe so.
His office cited the data from research conducted by its narcotics agency (BNN), but researchers contacted by Reuters don’t agree on this unreliable data.
A quick background: BNN conducted a research reaching the conclusion that more than 14,000 people die every year from drugs, based on interview to 2,100 drug users who were asked how many of their peers who used illegal substances had died last year. And from the responses, BNN extrapolated that ‘figure’ on the number of drug related deaths across Indonesia.
According to a researcher on drug use, Kathryn Daley of the RMIT University, the methodology used was very problematic and therefore data generated was very unreliable.
When asked, BNN stood by their research saying that it was a sound methodology.
The president often stated that the drug related deaths in the country were what fueled his decision in refusing any clemency for drug traffickers as well as in stepping up the execution pace (since last year when he came into office, following a five-year moratorium).
In a televised speech in December to university students, he said that the drug crime was unforgivable and added that the execution were necessary for the country’s drug war.
But even if Widodo is popular at home, he isn’t with the international community. In fact, he has been straining relations with several countries, including the Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Nigeria (all nations have had executed citizens related to drug crimes).
Health researchers: Problems were present with the methodology of research (e.g. relying on recollections in predicting nationwide drug mortality rate).
Oxford University’s Zhenhming Chen said that a reliable way of studying deaths would be following a group of over 50,000 people, who some were drug addicts, to see who died and how one died over a course of time.
But when asked about the method used, Slamet Pribadi, representative for BNN, said and insisted that the methodology was valid and that it generated reliable data.