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Indonesia: Executions to be carried out at midnight on July 29; spiritual advisers told to be ready

Nusakambangan Island, where Indonesia carries out its executions.
Nusakambangan Island, where Indonesia carries out its executions.
The spiritual advisers who will spend the final hours of life with those condemned to die in Indonesia's next round of executions have been told they will be carried out around midnight on July 29 to 30.

Fairfax Media understands around 16 convicted drug felons could be killed including foreign citizens from China, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

"We were told just today of the execution date, it's the 29th of July," a source told Fairfax Media.

Amnesty International and Indonesian human rights groups have called for an urgent moratorium on the executions, and for retrials that comply with fair standards, citing disturbing incidences of torture, coercion, corruption and unfair trials in the cases of many of those on death row.

Pakistani deputy ambassador Syed Zahid Raza​ has also issued a statement saying the embassy had approached officials to convince them its citizen, Zulfiqar Ali, had not been given a fair trial.

Zulfiqar was on Monday transferred to the execution island of Nusakambangan from the nearby port town of Cilacap, where he had been in hospital for two months for illnesses he claims are partly related to the torture he suffered when arrested in 2004. 

Vigils will be held outside the Indonesian consulate general in Melbourne at 7pm on July 26 and the Perth consulate general at 5pm on July 27.

Three of those expected to be executed this week - Zulfiqar and Indonesians Agus Hadi and Pujo Lestari - were among 12 death row prisoners named in last year's Amnesty International report Flawed justice: Unfair trials and the death penalty in Indonesia.

"Amnesty International found in the ... cases documented in this report that the defendants did not have access to legal counsel from the time of arrest and at different stages of their trial and appeals; and that they were subjected to ill-treatment while in police custody to make them 'confess' to their alleged crimes or sign police investigation reports," the report said.

Four Chinese men who were found guilty of drug trafficking after a 2005 police raid on a meth lab in Banten are also expected to be executed.

However co-accused Frenchman Serge Atlaoui​, who was slated to be executed in April last year but won an eleventh-hour reprieve, has once again been spared.

"It's a relief, it's reassuring, but the fight is not over yet. And I can't possibly celebrate knowing that the relatives of the inmates to be executed will suffer," Mr Atlaoui's wife, Sabine, told Le Républicain Lorrain.

Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo​ said on July 13 that no convicts from the United States, Europe or Australia were on the list to be executed this year. 

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Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jewel Topsfield, July 26, 2016


Clerics start entering Nusakambangan amid reports of executions

Clerics have started to visit the high-security Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, amid restrictions for visitors following reports of a third round of executions taking place soon.

The clerics crossed over to the island by ferry under local police and prison guard escort. Hasan Makarum, a cleric from the Cilacap branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), acknowledged that he had counseled several inmates on the prison island.

"We just do our duty, but sorry I don't know when the executions will take place," Hasan said as he arrived at Wijaya Pura Dock after visiting the prison on Monday.

He refused to give details on the inmates he counseled, but said he and several other clerics would be visiting the prison island regularly over the next few days.

Visits to the island have been suspended since Monday for members of the general public. Hopeful visitors have been advised to try again next week.

Nasrulloh, a guard on Nusakambangan, confirmed that the prison island was closed to general visitors for a week starting Monday. He explained that it was aimed at “sterilizing” the area in the lead-up to the third round of executions.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Agus Maryono, July 25, 2016


Reprieve Australia: To our friends in opposition to executions

Reprieve Australia is currently responding to events in Indonesia as another round of executions [has been announced]. Up to 18 Indonesian and foreign prisoners will apparently face firing squads [on 29 July 2016]. The Government refuses to make details public at this stage.

It is a dreadful truth that, even as the government spends weeks speaking of imminent executions, many of those it plans to kill have not been named. Many prisoners on death row simply do not know who will be plucked out and shot.

There is significant media discussing the concerns countries and legal teams have regarding the planned executions. Other deeply troubling issues such as questions of unfair trials, and confession obtained by torture are being raised by legal teams and families. Surely these matters require most careful investigation. We say it is unthinkable that executions would proceed in such circumstances.

We urge you to voice your opposition to the death penalty and encourage others to do so by emailing the Indonesian Embassy to seek clemency for any prisoners facing imminent execution.

The simplest way to do this is to email this address: kbri.visa@gmail.com

Indonesian Embassy in London, UK: kbri@btconnect.com
Indonesian Embassy Washington DC: +1 (202) 775-5200, @KBRIWashDC
Ambassade d'Indonésie à Paris : (+33) 01 45 03 07 60

Obviously, it is most important that all communications be respectful - that is the most effective way to be persuasive and bring about change.

Please check our Twitter account for the latest updates. You can also visit our Facebook page and website.

Some members of the community will be meeting for vigils to express their opposition to the death penalty, the details are set out here.

Melbourne: Tuesday 26 July, 7pm
Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia
72 Queens Road, Melbourne (Entrance from 72 Queens Lane)

Perth: Wednesday 27 July, 5pm
Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia
134 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth

Most of us cannot do much in these circumstances, but let us do what we can to save those facing execution, and to make the world free of state sponsored killings.

Julian McMahon
President, Reprieve Australia

Our mailing address is:
Reprieve Australia
GPO Box 4296
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Australia

Source: Reprieve Australia, July 26, 2016

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