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Indonesia: Bali Bombers Will Soon Be Executed

Amnesty International Speaks Out Against Execution Of Bali Bombers

Amnesty International is deeply disappointed by Indonesia's recent announcement that the Bali bombers will soon be executed, which represents a reversal of the global trend towards the abolition of the death penalty.

Within days, officials from the Indonesian government will take the three men from their cells in Nusakambangan prison to a field, where they will be blindfolded, placed before a firing squad and shot through the heart.

"While the Bali attacks were a horrific atrocity, Amnesty firmly believes that state-sanctioned killing will not bring redress for the victims, nor deter future criminal acts," says Amnesty's Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Holmes.

Amnesty remains concerned that these executions will only serve to perpetuate further acts of violence, turning the bombers from murderers to martyrs. As the executions approach, the three men themselves have made very public calls for their supporters to seek retribution for their deaths.

In the past few months Indonesia has dramatically increased the rate of executions. Up until June 2008, Indonesia had executed just eleven people in the last decade, but the execution of the Bali bombers will bring the number of executions in the last six months to ten. At least a further 107 people are believed to be on death row.

"It is disappointing that Indonesia has stepped up the number of executions recently. These escalating numbers fly in the face of last year's UN Resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions, of which New Zealand took a strong lead in," adds Holmes.

Amnesty International says the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights and opposes it in all cases without exception. Amnesty calls on Indonesia to commute all sentences of people awaiting execution, and to establish an immediate moratorium against the death penalty.

Background: New Zealand's role in the abolition of the death penalty Amnesty International and the New Zealand Government launched a global initiative to create a moratorium on all executions, to mark World Day against the Death Penalty on October 10, 2007.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Amnesty International's NZ Executive Director at the time, Ced Simpson, climbed the steps of Parliament, that had been transformed into a death penalty abolition timeline. The timeline showed the history of death penalty abolition from 1863, when Venezuela became the first abolitionist country, to the present day when 133 countries have abolished the death penalty in practice or in law.

On this day, Helen Clark announced the New Zealand Government's intention to co-author the UN resolution calling for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

Along with nine other countries New Zealand took a lead. The world listened and in December 2007 104 nations voted to adopt the global moratorium. However, while a total of 137 countries have abolished the death penalty in practice and law, 60 countries retain this barbaric practice.

ENDS

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