"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Indonesia: families told that 14 death row prisoners will be executed tonight

Indonesian police officers
“If nothing has changed, there will be 14 people.”: AG
Coffins taken to Nusa Kambangan in preparation for firing squad deaths, as country carries out first executions since Bali Nine pair and six others last year

Spiritual advisers and families of inmates on death row in Indonesia have been told to prepare for executions tonight as coffins were ferried to the prison island of Nusa Kambangan on Thursday morning.

Lawyer Ricky Gunawan, who acts for Merri Utami, a former Indonesian migrant worker on death row, said her spiritual adviser had been informed the executions would take place overnight.

“The priest who assists Merri, he was told to prepare for tonight,” said Gunawan, the director of the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH), which is representing Utami, and this week filed a clemency appeal to the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, on her behalf.

Syed Zahid Raza, the deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, said the family of a Pakistani man on death row, Zulfiqar Ali, had also been informed that he would be executed on Thursday night.

On Thursday, name tags were issued to family members, government officials and spiritual advisers – who provide comfort and guidance to prisoners in their final hours – to specify their relationship to the inmates, an indication that executions were imminent.

Gunawan said: “The name tags were also different. Name tags displaying who they are and which areas they allowed to access.”

Ambulances carrying the coffins arrived on Thursday morning at the port of Cilacap, the town on the Javanese mainland that is a gateway to the island penitentiary.

Notice was given to prisoners on Tuesday that their executions were to be carried out, but if they were to go ahead on Thursday night it would appear to be in contravention of Indonesia’s own regulations, which say at least 72 hours’ notice must be given.

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Source: The Guardian, Kate Lamb in Jakarta, Thursday 28 July 2016 06.04 BST


Anguish as Indonesia fast-tracks execution of 14 death row prisoners

The isolation cells at Batu prison, Nusakambangan.  Photo: Amilia Rosa
The isolation cells at Batu prison, Nusakambangan. Photo: Amilia Rosa
Indonesian executions set for midnight. Authorities have told the families of 14 prisoners on death row that their loved ones will die 24 hours earlier than planned.

Cilacap: Family members of 14 death row prisoners wept and one was close to collapse after learning the largest mass killing of convicted drug felons in Indonesia would take place on Thursday night - 24 hours earlier than expected.

Lawyers and embassy staff were also grim-faced as they emerged from the prosecutor's office in Cilacap on Thursday after being informed the deaths of the eight Nigerians, four Indonesians, one Indian and one Pakistani were just hours away.

The executions were proceeding despite nine of the condemned filing last-minute clemency pleas and pressure to postpone the executions amid growing evidence that some of those facing the firing squad could be innocent.

"This is just insane, it should be tomorrow," said the director of the Community Legal Aid Institute, Ricky Gunawan, who was filing clemency pleas on behalf of Indonesian woman Merri Utami and Nigerian Humphrey Jefferson Ejike Eleweke.

Human rights lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis said at least three of those facing the firing squad - Mr Eleweke, Ms Utami and Pakistani textile worker Zulfiqar Ali - may have received wrongful judgments.

"In the name of justice, they deserve a retrial," Dr Mulya said.

He said many had not lodged clemency pleas until the 11th hour because that would be to admit guilt and they insisted they were innocent.

On Thursday morning 17 ambulances - 14 containing coffins - were ferried to Nusakambangan, known as Indonesia's Alcatraz, where the prisoners will be strapped to wooden posts and shot dead by a firing squad.

Police leaked grisly details to the media about the logistics of executions, including the size of the coffins, which were as long as 190 centimetres for some of the Africans.

They said 198 executioners would be deployed, 140 guards, 70 equipment personnel and a 16-person sterilisation team.

Each convict would require chains, a padlock, white aprons, a head cover, a pole, a chair, a marking sticker, a plastic bag for their belongings and scissors.

"This third round of executions is the largest number of people ever executed in Indonesia's history - it's unprecedented," Dr Mulya said.

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Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jewel Topsfield, July 28, 2016


17 ambulances arrive on Nusakambangan

Seventeen ambulances, 14 of which carried coffins, arrived on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, on Thursday morning
Seventeen ambulances, 14 of which carried coffins, arrived on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, on Thursday morning.

With the arrival of the ambulances, it is deemed highly likely that the executions of 14 death-row drug inmates will be conducted early Friday. It has been a long-standing tradition on Nusakambangan that ambulances are readied to pick up bodies of the condemned from the prison less than 24 hours before the executions.

In an earlier statement, Attorney General M Prasetyo said the executions of the 14 death-row inmates would be conducted early Friday. He said all technical and legal aspects of the executions had been fulfilled.

No list of those to be executed has been released as yet. However people to face firing squads reportedly include Indonesians Freddy Budiman and Merri Utami, Pakistani Zulfiqar Ali, Indian Gurdip Singh and Nigerian Onkonkwo Nonso Kingsley.

Earlier on Thursday, hundreds of military and police personnel, including National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) agents, were deployed in several areas around the Wijaya Pura Dock complex in Cilacap. They are securing and monitoring the area ahead of the executions.

“It has been jointly decided by the security team that we have to clear the Wijaya Pura area from all kinds of visits that are not related to the condemned [...],” said Banyumas Police spokesperson Adj. Comr. Bintoro, the only police officer authorized to make statements on the executions.

Source: Jakarta Post, Agus Maryono, July 28, 2016

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde