Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Poso 3 may be shot tomorrow

If last-minute appeals fail, Indonesia will tomorrow kill three Christians convicted of leading attacks on Muslims in Central Sulawesi.

Fabianus Tibo, 60, Dominggus da Silva, 42, and Marinus Riwu, 48, were sentenced to death in April 2001 for premeditated murder and inciting riots in the town of Poso. They were convicted of orchestrating sectarian violence in May 2000, in which hundreds of Muslims were killed.

Indonesia's national news agency Antara reported today that the men's lawyers had confirmed the execution date had been set for 21 September.

Antara said lawyer Roy Rening told Reuters: "Yesterday the prosecutors gave the letter of notice [to the three] for the execution to take place on Sept. 21."

BBC News said some reports suggested the executions could be carried out on Friday.

The three men were scheduled to be executed at 12.15am on 12 August, but they were granted a repreive with less than an hour to go. The government said it was delaying the executions until after Independence Day celebrations on 17 August.

The Associated Press reported that authorities in Poso had deployed thousands of police in the lead up to tomorrow's planned executions.

An AP report in the International Herald Tribune quoted Poso police chief Lt. Col. Rudy Sufahriyadi, who said police were "prepared to handle any reaction against the executions by deploying about 2,000 police, including a mobile brigade, a bomb squad and an anti-terror unit".

BBN News quoted Central Sulawesi police chief Badroddin Haiti who said: "If there are unwanted actions, or actions tending toward anarchy, police will not hesitate to take repressive action."

Few people have been charged and no-one else has been sentenced to death for involvement in the clashes between Christians and Muslims, which claimed an estimated 2,000 lives on Sulawesi between 1998 and 2001.

Amnesty International appeals
Human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) has expressed concerns that the men did not receive a fair trial.

AI said in a statement issued to AFP that it was "deeply disappointed" that Indonesia may proceed with the executions this week.

According to the Khaleej Times Online, the human rights organisation said: "It is shocking to hear that the executions are going ahead despite the high level of debate the case has sparked across the country about the use of the death penalty."

The statement added that AI "believes that the use of the death penalty is inherently an injustice and we urge the President of Indonesia to follow the recent moves in Southeast Asia for the abolition of the death penalty by granting clemency to the three men and all other prisoners currently sentenced to death in Indonesia".

Amnesty International Australia today issued an alert to members of its Anti-Death Penalty Network, calling on them to write urgent appeals to the Indonesian government.

Related stories:
Poso appeal may not have enough time -- 05 September, 2006
Indonesia: Poso executions delayed -- 12 August 2006
Indonesia: Six may soon be shot -- 10August 2006
Indonesia: Poso 3 facing imminent execution -- 16 May 2006

No comments: