20 October 2008

Amnesty International Appeal

Amnesty International has launched an appeal to see the lives of Amrozi, Samudra, and Mukhlas spared from the firing squad.

The appeal is attached in full.

AI Index: ASA 21/020/2008 16 October 2008

INDONESIA: Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim (m), Ali Ghufron alias Mukhlas (m), Imam Samudera (m)

Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudera, who were convicted of involvement in the 12 October 2002 bombings on the island of Bali, which killed 202 people and injured a further 209, are facing imminent execution by firing squad within the next week.

In January 2008, police and court officials informed the three men that their renewed demands for a second judicial review had been rejected. The men appealed against this decision, but on 17 July the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected this appeal and announced that they had exhausted their right of appeal, stating only one judicial review is permitted.

The executions were due to take place in September, but were delayed for the holy month of Ramadan. Jasman Simanjuntak, spokesman for the Attorney-General's office, stated on 14 October that the date of execution will be announced on 24 October. However, as executions in Indonesia are usually carried out in the early hours of Friday morning, and the date of execution is never normally announced in advance, Amnesty International fears that the announcement will simply confirm that they have already been executed. Amnesty International is also concerned that the men will be executed despite their outstanding petition to the Constitutional Court, alleging that the method of execution by firing squad amounts to torture.

Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudera were sentenced to death by the Denpasar District Court in 2003. The law they were convicted under was brought into force in 2003 and introduced the death penalty for 'terrorist' acts, and allowed for those involved in the 2002 bombings in Bali to be tried retroactively. Under international law (Article 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights- ICCPR) and the Indonesian Constitution, a person cannot be tried under legislation brought in after the incident took place.

A pardon from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is extremely unlikely. All three men have stated that they will not apply for Presidential pardon. The President has also previously indicated in a television interview that he will not give clemency and will allow the process to be seen through to the end.


Death sentences in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad. The person under sentence of death has the choice of standing or sitting and of using a blindfold or cover for their head. Firing squads consist of 12 people, six of whom are supplied with live ammunition and six whose guns are loaded with blanks. The squad fires from a distance of between five and 10 metres.

To Amnesty International's knowledge, at least 107 people are believed to be under sentence of death in Indonesia. Eleven of these were convicted and sentenced to death in 2007. Indonesia has executed seven people since 26 June 2008.

In 2006, Indonesia ratified the ICCPR, which states that "every human being has the inherent right to life." However, the Indonesian authorities did not authorize ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aimed at the abolition of the death penalty.


Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Bahasa Indonesian, English or your own language:

- calling for the death sentences of Amrozi bin H. Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron alias Mukhlas and Imam Samudera to be commuted;
- expressing concern that the Law on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism, under which these men were sentenced to death, was applied retrospectively to include all those involved in the Bali bombings, violating international law and the Indonesian Constitution;
- calling on the Indonesian authorities to commute all death sentences in Indonesia;
- recognizing that Indonesia has a right and responsibility to address serious crime, and expressing sympathy for its victims, but pointing out that there is no clear evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent;
- calling on the authorities to sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and establish a moratorium on executions, as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty as advocated in the UN General Assembly Resolution of 18 December 2007.


Please remember Indonesia is 6 hours ahead of GMT, and fax machines may be switched off outside of office hours.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President RI, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta Pusat 10110, Indonesia
Fax: + 62 21 345 2685
+ 62 21 526 8726

Salutation: Dear President

Attorney General
Mr. Hendarman Supandji, Jaksa Agung, J. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, Indonesia
Fax: + 62 21 725 0213

Salutation: Dear Attorney General


Governor of Bali
Governor Dewa Made Beratha
Jl. Basuki Rahmat Renon Denpasar 80361, Bali, Indonesia
Fax: +62 361 236 037

Salutation: Dear Governor

and to diplomatic representatives of Indonesia accredited to your country.

I am against the death penalty.


invisible said...

Whilst i do agree that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind, Indonesia has executed many many drug traffickers, which i feel is a much lesser crime than the murder of 200+ people.
If you're gonna execute anyone, these 3 are at the top of the list in my book.
I also feel the decision to execute should belong to the victims families, there should be a vote and then judgement can be carried out in a similar fashion to the crime committed.

They should attach a small explosive device to each of the convicted, and detonated at an unspecified time. It could be a few days or a few years.
Would that count as cruel and unusual punishment?

Rob Baiton said...

Invisible Mate...

I am glad that you see some value in the words of Gandhi.

Interesting idea that it should go to a vote of the victims family. Would the idea be a simple majority?

The idea of attaching a small explosive voice that can be detonated at any time the victims choose would probably count as cruel and unusual.

But, I am guessing that the question was rhetorical anyway, right?

jaka said...

Why dont we apply islamic argument, if that is what the three want? In murder case, if the judge decides dead penalty, the family of the victims are asked if they forgive the murderers (hence, no execution). If there's no forgiveness, the the punishment should apply.

And, what about the feeling of injustice of christians in Flores about the execution of Tibo cs.? This becomes already a political game.

Rob Baiton said...


The problem that I would see is that there are 202 victims. Does this mean all 202 families have to forgive or is it to be a simple majority?

It is an interesting comparison in terms of the time between conviction and execution in the Poso and Bali cases. The extent of the appeal process may also be compared. However, ultimately they are different cases and in that sense the comparison is of limited value.

GJ said...

Sorry can't bring myself to fax anything..........

Let's get it over with and move on!!

Rob Baiton said...


I would imagine you're not alone on this one.

Anonymous said...

I feel that they should be locked up and given the chance to self euthanize (with counseling first of course)

Rob Baiton said...


As always, I would appreciate some distinguishing feature to your comment that allows me to work out which anonymous you are. Signing off with your initials or a pen name would do.

Self-euthanize with counselling would be suicide, would it not?

If they do not take the chance offered to them for self-euthanization, then would the sentence be carried out anyway?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, for no name.

No, I feel they would at least have the option: rot or suicide. I mean I think we all realise that we cant rehabilitate them, so it gives them an option and it absolves us of feeling bad about the eye for eye thing. It might considered their way of saying sorry. And the end result should make most victims happy I think.

the last anon

Rob Baiton said...

The Last Anon (not what I had in mind for a distinguishing feature :D)...

I understood that was what you meant. I think they should rot in jail because they are unlikely to show any remorse.

I usually here the cost of keeping someone in jail for life is more expensive than killing them. Perhaps this is so, but I still am against the death penalty.

It is ian interesting idea that those who live should feel guilt over the execution of those who so ruthlessly and without regret killed so many innocents.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, me and my diving friends were talking about death penalty last week on the boat. And interestingly, the Indonesian ones are those who said, "An eye for an eye". More interestingly, women. And those who are against it, an American.

We were talking about "Why don't we throw shark fin hunters to the sharks as a punishment?" then somehow landed to death penalty.

I think these dudes should be thrown to the Ragunan Zoo into the tigers cage, it drives me sad to see those tigers are underfed. But maybe even the tigers would think their flesh is 'haram'...

Rob Baiton said...


Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments on this one.

Pretty much my views have been written as comments previously on this post.

There have been lots of alternatives already put into play here. In some ways there is some poetic (or is it ironic) justice in feeding shark fin hunters to the sharks.

I am guessing the tigers and lions would be of the opinion that pretty much all meat is halal, particularly when you are underfed!

jaka said...

Not really sure; but by acknowledging the behavior of Islamic law ("careful" principle), it should be the 202 families have to forgive them . What I am not sure is, should they do it independently or they may "organize" it before the decision being made.

For the second topic, your answer implies: let the political things to the government, doesnt it?

Rob Baiton said...


The first point relates to the difficulty that might be encountered in getting all 202 families to agree on the implementation of the death penalty.

If this was a single murder and only one family had to decide the fate of the murderer(s) then this requires only one decision.

Hence the idea of a simple majority. Is that something permissible?

On the second point. Not really. I am not suggesting that politics is politics and leave that to the government. I was suggesting that there are some interesting comparisons to be made between the cases but there are also enough differences between the two cases that makes that comparison of limited value.

For example we might be able to look at and do some empirical research to find out whether there is any noticable difference in the amount of time on death row for Muslim and Christian inmates.

Yet, the question is, what value should we give to this information in the Poso and Bali cases?

More than anything, I use my blog to think out loud. The blog catches my thoughts; some of those thoughts are more developed than some others.

So, the contributions of those that comment are generally genuinely appreciated :D