Friday, 15 September 2006

Indonesia: Catholic youth call for abolition

A national meeting of young Catholics in Indonesia has called for an end to the death penalty, according to The Jakarta Post.

Delegates to the 13th Catholic Youth National Congress in Ambon finished their 4-day meeting on Monday last week (4 Sept) with a call for the abolition of capital punishment.

They also said police should interview people accused of involvement in riots in Central Sulawesi in May 2000.

Three men are currently on death row for inciting the riots, but their defence lawyers claim they were prosecuted to cover up the true involvement of 16 other people.

MT Natalis Situmorang, youth movement chairman, said during the congress that its members "strongly object to the use of the death penalty against any person in this country".

Secretary general Cosmos Refra said: "We renounce the death penalty because God has given life to humans so that they can live freely, and only God has the right to take (life) back, not fellow humans."

He denied the position taken by the congress was motivated by political or sectarian concerns.

"In principle, we reject the use of the death penalty against all people, be they [Poso 3] Tibo and his friends or [convicted Bali bombers] Amrozi and Imam Samudra, as well as others sentenced to death," Cosmos Refra said.

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

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