25 September 2007

Bali Bombers 1 - Imminent Execution - Not This Month

The day of reckoning for Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufron draws ever-nearer. The time is coming where these perpetrators of the carnage that has become know as 'Bali Bomb I' will soon get to meet their maker and find out once and for all whether these actions are condoned as a means of defending one's religion.

Amrozi's appeals ended on 10 September with the refusal of the Supreme Court to entertain an application for review. Now with a similar rejection being handed down to the applications of Samudra and Gufron it would seem that their execution is only a matter of time.

Yet, it is the fasting month and it is unlikely that the necessary paperwork will be sped up to ensure an execution date that falls within this the holiest of months on the Islamic calendar. However, it is expected that with all current legal channels exhausted that the executions will take place soon after the end of the Idul Fitri celebrations that conclude the fasting month. Therefore, those desperately waiting for these executions to take place should be looking for a date some time after 14 October 2007.

The death penalty is always touted as the ultimate penalty but in essence it is really an eye for an eye type punishment and in that sense justice is not really done. These men have been convicted of planning and executing a bombing which resulted in 202 deaths, in effect they are guilty of mass murder. For some the death penalty is an appropriate punishment and for others it would be better for these murderers to rot in jail and never be released. An interesting twist here is that the gung ho and bravado that is part of the egos of these 3 in fact sees them relishing the prospect of death and dying as martyrs to the cause, no matter how misguided that cause may be. Islam does not condone the murder of innocents and in reality that is what this crime is - mass murder of the innocent - Indonesian and foreigner alike.

There is a suggestion that the convicts who are currently serving their time (perhaps waiting for the inevitable may be a more apt description) on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan in Central Java will be transferred back to Bali to face the firing squad. But in that sense it does not really matter, an execution is an execution no matter where it takes place. Dead is Dead! But even more interesting is the belief that getting the executions done and over with is somehow going to improve Indonesia's image abroad. The arguments for and against the death penalty in most cases are intractable and neither side of the debate is likely to convince the other. Yet, if this believe is rooted in the understanding that the rest of the world needs to see Indonesia's toughness in the face of the ever-increasing scourge that is terrorism, then it is not the imposition of the ultimate penalty that will impress, but rather the capture, prosecution, and jailing of the perpetrators of violence and hatred.

Thus endeth the sermon.

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