Thursday, 10 August 2006

Indonesia: Six may soon be shot

Reports from Indonesia indicate that the government is preparing to execute three Christians this weekend in Central Sulawesi. And three more may follow, if the executions of the three leading Bali bombers are carried out as planned in late August.

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

A Reuters report said the three would "face a firing squad just after midnight on Friday at a secret location in the Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu", citing remarks by a spokesman for Indonesia's Attorney General.

Reuters said I Wayan Pasek Suartha told reporters: "There will be no delay unless there's a natural catastrophe. The families of the convicts have been notified".

The Jakarta Post reported that "more than 2,000" Indonesian Christians held a protest rally against the planned executions on Thursday in the Sulawesi town of Tentena. Protests were also held in two towns on Floresisland, where the three men were born.

Bali bombers to die

Indonesian government officials have also said the three men convicted of organising the October 2002 bombing Bali - which killed 202 people - would be shot on 22 August.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Ali Ghufron (also known as Mukhlas) have said they would not ask for clemency but would answer only to God.

Despite these earlier statements one of their defence lawyers, Muhammad Mahendradata, said an appeal would be filed before 22 August.

AP newsagency reported the appeal would argue the three had been convicted on the basis of retroactive legislation.

"The criminal code stipulates that if there is any change in the law then the law applied should be beneficial to the defendant," the BBC quoted him as saying.

Any further appeal would be likely to postpone the executions for several months.

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