Frenchman awaits fate as Indonesia executes eight

The fate of a Frenchman condemned to death in Indonesia appeared doomed on Wednesday, after eight fellow drug convicts were executed by a firing squad. The French president has warned Jakarta of consequences.

Frenchman awaits fate as Indonesia executes eight
Serge Atlaoui, who is facing execution, is led away by Indonesian police. Photo: AFP

France on Wednesday condemned the executions in Indonesia of seven foreign drug convicts and said it remained concerned about the fate of a Frenchman also on death row in the Asian country.

The government "reiterates its opposition to the death sentence, in all cases and all circumstances," said French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal.

The French authorities "are fully mobilised to help Serge Atlaoui, whose situation remains very worrying," Nadal said in a statement, expressing his government's "solidarity" with the countries whose nationals were put to death.

Atlaoui, 51, was originally among the group set to be executed but was unexpectedly granted a temporary reprieve Saturday after Indonesia agreed to allow an outstanding legal appeal to run its course.

In defiance of a storm of international criticism, the Indonesian authorities went ahead early on Wednesday with the execution by firing squad of two Australians, a Brazilian, four Africans and one Indonesian, reports said.

A Filipina woman who was set to suffer the same punishment was however spared at the 11th hour.

French President Francois Hollande has warned that Indonesia would face diplomatic "consequences" if it pushed ahead with the execution of Atlaoui over drug trafficking offences.


How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

France is set to announce new measures this week to prevent youngsters from accessing porn websites, in the latest round of a years-long struggle to protect children from explicit material.

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

“I plan to put an end to this scandal,” Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the Parisien newspaper on Monday.

France’s data protection and media regulators Cnil and Arcom are set to announce their latest proposals to rein in porn websites which are in theory subject to a 2020 law requiring age verification.

Previous attempts have been held up by privacy and technical concerns, as well as court action by the websites.

To its frustration last September, a Paris court ordered Arcom to enter into mediation with several porn websites including market leader Pornhub, holding up efforts to block them.

READ MORE: France hits Google and Facebook with huge fines over ‘cookies’

Under the new proposal, people wanting to access explicit material will need to download a phone application that provides them with a digital certificate and code, the Parisien reported.

The code will be needed to access a porn website under a system “which will work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online,” Barrot told the newspaper.

“2023 will mark the end of our children accessing pornographic sites,” he added.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to former school teacher Brigitte Macron, promised to make protecting children from porn a priority during his bid for re-election last year.

In November, he launched the Children Online Protection Laboratory, an initiative that aims to bring together industry giants and researchers to look for ways to shield minors online.

In September last year, a report entitled “Hell Behind the Scenes” by French senators concluded that there was “massive, ordinary and toxic” viewing of porn by children.

The report found that two thirds of children aged 15 or less had seen pornographic content.

The French production industry has been roiled by a series of sexual assault cases in recent years in which women have come forward to allege rape, mistreatment and manipulation by directors and fellow actors.