Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bali bombers may soon get their wish

The three men sentenced to death for killing 202 people in the October 2002 bombings in Bali have again said they are looking forward to their martyrdom at the hands of an Indonesian firing squad.

The penalty held out as a deterrent to serious crimes will soon be prepared for the men convicted of playing key roles in the plot to bomb the nightclub strip in the island's Kuta district.

Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra and Mukhlas (also known as Ali Ghufron) have been waiting for the Government to finalise arrangements for their execution after the Supreme Court rejected their appeal in early October.

The three have reportely rejected the final avenue open to them, an appeal for clemency to President Yudhyono. Their lawyers have, however, suggested they would use every legal means available to delay the executions.

"We will not ask for a pardon," Mukhlas said recently.

"This is about heaven and hell. Asking for pardon is a big sin."

Achmad Michdan said: "They are all ready should their executions have to be carried out. They said they are even looking forward to their executions."

Family farewells
In late October their wives, mothers and children spent several hours with two of them in what journalists described as "an emotional final visit" to the prison on the southern Java island of Nusakambangan.

According to The Australian newspaper, the principal of the school where the men learnt their Islamist ideology described the meeting as "cheerful and happy".

A later report in the same newspaper said the women had brought lunch boxes packed with the mens' favourite foods and were accompanied by two journalists with a video camera.

The report said at the meeting with Amrozi and Imam Samudra, their lawyer had a reassuring message from the absent Mukhlas.

Achmad Michdan said: "Mukhlas said the family don't need to be saddened by the execution because what they have done is something they truly believe is right."

White cloth and angels
Imam Samudra described his wishes for after his execution.

"Nobody, neither family nor parents, nor wife or children, can cry out loud in front of my dead body." His corpse should be buried wrapped in white cloth.

"That way I will die, God willing, a martyr."

Amrozi, who has been dubbed 'the smiling bomber' by the Australian media, said: "People ask me, why am I smiling? I am happy because I will be united with 72 angels in heaven."

"In the past I have killed many with my bombs. I have been tested by spending time in this prison.

"But if you make infidels angry, you will be rewarded. And soon I will enjoy the fruit of my deeds, if I am executed, God willing."

One regret, no fears
Samudra reportedly
described how he thanked God when he heard the bombings had been carried out.

"I immediately prayed prostrate on the floor to give thanks to God, because of all the oppressed Muslims I had defended."

He said he only felt sadness for the Muslims he had killed: "I regretted it. I cried."

also said they were not afraid to die, although they would prefer to be beheaded.

"Absolutely we are not afraid," he said.

"That's what I've been waiting for ... firstly with execution we will go to heaven and then our wish to see God and the angels is far higher than the wish of the infidels for our death.

"Why would we be scared of death? Even now we are not scared to be executed.

"[US President] Bush and his allies, you all will go to hell but me and all my friends in the world will go to heaven.

"No, no, no there won't be any clemency because its not Islamic law - that is part of democracy and the law of democracy, and we are totally against democracy."

'Part of the struggle'
The Australian reported after the meeting that Ustad Hasyim Abdullah, principal of the al-Mukmin Islamic school in Solo, central Java, said the three were not willing to beg for presidential clemency as they did not believe they had done anything wrong.

He said their families had "no problem with the executions - they have accepted this, it is part of the struggle".

Related stories:
Bali: Execution closer for bombing leaders -- 09 October, 2007
Bali bombers lodge appeals -- 08 December, 2006
Execution delay for Bali bombers -- 21 August, 2006
Bali bombers closer to execution -- 11 April, 2006