Thursday, March 16, 2006

Indonesia: Stop the imminent execution of three men

Amnesty is calling for a review of three pending executions. "The authorities are reportedly preparing for the execution of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu. The intended date and time have not been announced, but the Central Sulawesi Prosecutor's office has apparently ordered three coffins and begun final preparations. President Yudhoyono rejected the three men's appeal for clemency in November 2005, but the authorities still have the power to delay the execution while the case is reviewed.

The three men were sentenced to death in April 2001 for premeditated murder and inciting riots, in connection with ethnic and religious violence between Christians and Muslims in the town of Poso, Central Sulawesi, in May 2000. Tibo, da Silva and Riwu, all Christians, were accused of leading an attack on a Muslim village.

Amnesty International believes that their trial in 2001 may not have been fair. Reportedly there were demonstrators armed with stones outside the courthouse, demanding that the three be sentenced to death, and their legal representatives were subjected to intimidation including death threats. A bomb was planted at the house of one legal adviser.

On 1 February 2006 the lawyers representing the three men announced that they had new evidence and called for a renewed investigation into the case. They claimed that this evidence demonstrates that 16 other people were responsible for instigating the violence in Poso. The lawyers assert that the new evidence will show that Tibo, da Silva and Riwu did not orchestrate the disturbances, but that they are key witnesses in the cases of the 16 people, whose names the lawyers have submitted to the National Police headquarters.

In the past few weeks, the case has attracted the attention of numerous local and national human rights groups and religious leaders, including former President and prominent Muslim cleric Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid. They have repeatedly called on the authorities to abandon or at least delay the execution to allow for further investigation into the case.

Appeals to:

* President President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President RI, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia Fax: +62 21 345 2685 +62 21 526 8726 Salutation: Dear President Yudhoyono
* Minister of Justice and Human Rights Hamid Awaluddin, Menteri Kehakiman dan HAM, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 4-5 Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia Fax: +62 21 725 0213 Salutation: Dear Minister

Copies to:

* Chairman, human rights commission Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara, Komisi Nasional Hak Asasi Manusia, Jl. Laturharhary No.4B, Menteng, Jakarta, Indonesia Fax: +62 21 392 5227
* His Excellency Mr Mohammad Hamzah THAYEB Ambassador Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia 8 Darwin Avenue Yarralumla ACT 2600 Fax: (02) 6273 6017, 6273 3545 Email: Salutation: Your Excellency

Please send your appeals immediately.

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