Indonesia: Halt imminent executions of 11 people

In an open letter to President Joko Widodo, Amnesty International has stepped up it’s call to the Indonesian government to halt the imminent execution of 11 people and scrap plans to put even more people to death this year.

19 February 2015, 11:47AM

Imminent executions confirmed

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 foreigners, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and Indonesian nationals.

Death penalty does not deter drug traffickers

“President Widodo is apparently trying to show that he is cracking down on crime,” said Diana Sayed, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Campaign Coordinator.

“Concern about the drugs trade and the loss of lives as a result of drugs is understandable. But the death penalty is not a solution to crime.

“In fact, there is no evidence of a decline in drug-trafficking or other crimes that could be attributed to the threat or use of the death penalty.

“Instead he should be ensuring that the criminal justice system prevents and detects crime and ensures fair trials.

Clemency appeals rejected

The Indonesian government executed six people on 18 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 held for drug-related offences. This has effectively denied the prisoners a meaningful review based on the merits of their cases, something guaranteed in both international and Indonesian law.

Open letter to President Widodo

“These killings must stop immediately.

“By respecting human rights and adopting a more effective approach to crime, President Widodo would demonstrate real leadership,” said Diana Sayed.

In the open letter to Indonesia’s President, 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.