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Indonesia: Halt imminent executions of 11 people

19th February 2015, 11:00:47 UTC

The Indonesian Government must halt the imminent execution of 11 people and scrap plans to put even more people to death this year, Amnesty International said in an open letter to President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia’s Attorney General has confirmed that 11 executions of death row prisoners convicted for drug trafficking and murder will be carried out imminently. The prisoners include both foreigners and Indonesian nationals.

“President Widodo is apparently trying to show that he is tough on crime, but there is no evidence that the death penalty is more of a deterrent than other forms of punishment. Instead he should be ensuring that the criminal justice system prevents and detects crime, and ensures fair trials,” said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.

The Indonesian Government executed six people on 19 January, and has announced plans to put 14 more to death throughout the year. The Government has rejected all clemency appeals of death row prisoners out of hand. This has effectively denied the prisoners a meaningful review of their cases, something guaranteed in both international and Indonesian law.

“These killings must stop immediately. By respecting human rights and adopting a more effective approach to crime, President Widodo would demonstrate real leadership,” said Richard Bennett.

In the open letter, Amnesty International points out a number of concerns

  • At least two prisoners have appeals pending before the Supreme Court and no executions should be carried out while appeals are not finalised
  • At least three prisoners, all foreign nationals, may not have been provided a legal representative who could have assisted in filing appeals
  • One prisoner, Brazilian national Rodrigo Gularte, has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, an illness which deteriorated while on death row.

International law prohibits the use of the death penalty against those with mental or intellectual disabilities.

The open letter is available here: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/007/2015/en

Image: © Amnesty International