ASIA/INDONESIA - Church and civil society against new executions

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 human rights   persecutions   politics  

Jakarta (Agenzia Fides) - An urgent appeal and a campaign to stop new executions scheduled by the Indonesian government and announced as imminent: is what Catholic organizations and groups of the Indonesian civil society are preparing. According to information from the Indonesian police, 15 inmates in the prison on the island of Nusakambangan, in front of the city of Cilacap (Central Java), are ready to be executed: four Chinese, two from Zimbabwe, two Nigerians, a Senegalese, a Pakistani and five Indonesians, all sentenced to death for possession and drug trafficking.
The Indonesian Church, which has repeatedly publicly disapproved the use of capital punishment will on Thursday, May 26 hold an emergency summit in Jakarta and will be attended by the "Justice and Peace" Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, of the Sant' Egidio-Indonesia Community and some of the largest Indonesian organizations working in defense of human rights such as Kontras, Imparsial, Elsam, LBH Masyarakat.
Mgr. Ignazio Suharyo, Archbishop of Jakarta and President of the Indonesian episcopate, attended the seminar entitled "The death penalty in a democratic nation", organized on May 18 by the Atma Jaya Catholic University in Jakarta. In view of the new executions, the Archbishop reiterated the Church's position, contrary to the death penalty in the name of dignity and the right to life of every person. "The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo.
As reported in a note sent to Fides, the leader of the Sant'Egidio-Indonesia Community, Teguh Budiono, who will coordinate the meeting of May 26, thanked the Archbishop, confirming that the Church and civil society will demand a campaign of citizenship awareness, to stop the executions. Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents.
In 2015 the Indonesian government, despite international pressure, executed 14 prisoners sentenced to death for drug offenses. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/05/2016)