Indonesia executes shaman for murdering dozens of women
Indonesia has executed a man sentenced to death a decade ago for murdering 42 women in "black magic" rituals, despite a call from international human rights group to halt the execution, officials said Friday, dpa reported.
The self-proclaimed shaman Ahmad Suradji, 59, was executed by a firing squad in an open field in Deli Serdang district, about 40 kilometres outside the North Sumatra provincial capital of Medan on Thursday night, said B Nainggolan, spokesman for Indonesia's Attorney General's Office.
"The execution was carried out shortly before 10 pm Thursday," Nainggolan said, adding that Suradji's body was immediately brought to Deli Serdang's public hospital for an autopsy, before handed over to his family for burial.
He said before being executed Suradji had been granted all of his rights, including a chance to meet with his wife and other close relatives.
Suradji was sentenced to death in 1998 after police found the women's bodies buried in a sugar cane field. He confessed to strangling most of the women and drinking their saliva to improve his magical powers after they came to him for help.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono turned down the man's request for clemency in November 2007.
Late Thursday's execution comes after Indonesia executed two Nigerian nationals for drugs trafficking two weeks ago.
Rights group Amnesty International called on Indonesia last week not to execute Suradji, saying it recognized the need to address serious crime, but was "convinced that the death penalty does not provide a solution."
Prosecutors said recently that four other Indonesians would "soon" be executed after President Yudhoyono rejected their clemency applications. Amnesty also urged authorities to spare the lives of the four others.
Attorney-General Hendarman Supandji said there were nearly 60 people on death row in Indonesia, including three Australian over the failed "Bali Nine" plot to smuggle more than eight kilograms of heroin to Australia in 2005, as well as three Muslim militants sentenced to death for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people - mostly foreign visitors.
Nearly half of those on death row are foreigners.
Executions in Indonesia are by firing squad, usually carried out at night in isolated and undisclosed locations. The prisoner is notified of his execution date at least 72 hours beforehand.