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Amnesty International Urgent Action: Three men to be executed in Indonesia

May 16, 2013

UA: 128/13 Index: ASA 21/015/2013 Indonesia Date: 16 May 2013


Three men to be executed in Indonesia

Three men in Indonesia are facing imminent execution, possibly as early as the evening of 16 May. The three have been moved to isolation cells and family members have travelled to be close to them.

According to a statement by the Attorney General’s Office today, Suryadi Swabuana, Jurit bin Abdullah, and Ibrahim bin Ujang will be executed this month. However, credible sources suggest the executions may take place tonight. Their families have reportedly been informed that the executions will take place on Nusakambangan island, Central Java, where the three are currently detained.

Suryadi Swabuana was convicted and sentenced to death in 1992 for the premeditated murder of a family in South Sumatra province. His clemency application was rejected in 2003. Jurit bin Abdullah and Ibrahim bin Ujang were convicted and sentenced to death in 1998 for premeditated murder they both committed in South Sumatra province in 1997. According to their lawyers, Jurit and Ibrahim re-filed clemency applications in 2006 and 2008 respectively, but have not received a reply from the President.

Death sentences in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad. The prisoner has the choice of standing or sitting and whether to have their eyes covered, by a blindfold or hood. Firing squads are made up of 12 people, three of whose rifles are loaded with live ammunition, while the other nine are loaded with blanks. The squad fires from a distance of between five and 10 metres.

The Attorney General announced in March 2013 that 10 people would be executed in 2013. The announcement came after the first of the 10, Adami Wilson, a Malawian national, was executed in March 2013. There are at least 130 people under sentence of death in Indonesia.

Please write immediately in English, Indonesian or your own language:

n Calling on the authorities to halt the executions of Suryadi Swabuana, Jurit bin Abdullah, and Ibrahim bin Ujang immediately;

n Calling on the authorities to commute the death sentence of Suryadi Swabuana, Jurit bin Abdullah, and Ibrahim bin Ujang, as well as those of all other prisoners under sentence of death;

n Urging them to establish an immediate moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty;

n Pointing out that the decision to resume executions has set Indonesia against global trends towards abolition of the death penalty.


H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta Pusat 10110
Fax: +62 21345 2685
Salutation: Your Excellency

Attorney General
Basrief Arief
Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1, Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12160
Fax: +62 21 725 1277 (keep trying)
Salutation: Dear Attorney General

And Copies to:
National Human Rights Commission Chairperson
Siti Noor Laila
Jl. Latuharhari No. 4B, Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10310
Fax: +62 21 392 5227

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Three men to be executed in Indonesia

Additional Information

Indonesia resumed executions on 14 March 2013 after a four year hiatus, when Adami Wilson, a 48-year-old Malawian national, was put to death for drug-trafficking. The execution was a shocking and regressive step after years of positive indications that Indonesia was moving away from the death penalty. In October 2012, after news that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono commuted the death sentence of a drug trafficker, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said the move was part of a wider push away from the use of the death penalty in Indonesia. Also in 2012, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of a drug trafficker to 12 years’ imprisonment and the President granted clemency for two others who had been sentenced to death for drug trafficking.

Amnesty International recognizes the obligation and duty for governments to protect the human rights of victims of crime, and believes that those found responsible, after a fair judicial process, should be punished with a sentence that is proportionate to the crime committed, but without recourse to the death penalty. There is no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime any more effectively than other forms of punishment.

Amnesty International believes that the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party. Moreover, Article 6(6) of the ICCPR states that “Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant”. The Human Rights Committee, the body overseeing the implementation of the ICCPR, has stated that Article 6 "refers generally to abolition [of the death penalty] in terms which strongly suggest… that abolition is desirable. The Committee concludes that all measures of abolition should be considered as progress in the enjoyment of the right to life”.

The then UN Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/59, called upon all states that still maintain the death penalty “to make available to the public information with regard to the imposition of the death penalty and to any scheduled execution”. On 23 March 2012, the UN Human Rights Council adopted resolution 19/ 37 on the “Rights of the child” in which it called on states to ensure that inmates on death row, as well as their families and legal representatives are provided, in advance, with adequate information about a pending execution, its date, time and location, to allow a last visit or communication with the convicted person.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unreservedly in all cases and supports calls, also included in four resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly since 2007, for the establishment of a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. At the voting on the most recent of these resolutions in December 2012, Indonesia for the first time changed its vote from against to abstention. As of today 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice; in the Asia-Pacific region, out of 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, 17 have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, 10 are abolitionist in practice and one – Fiji – useuses the death penalty only for exceptional military crimes.

Name: Suryadi Swabuana, Jurit bin Abdullah, and Ibrahim bin Ujang.
Gender m/f: All m

UA: 128/13 Index: ASA 21/015/2013 Issue Date: 16 May 2013

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