Human rights group wants to halt executions of Bali bombers
A leading international human rights group called Tuesday on the Indonesian president to commute the death sentences to life of three Islamic militants convicted for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings, dpa reported.
While condemning the terrorist attacks as "horrific and inexcusable acts," but the New York-based Human Rights Watch said the death penalty was not an appropriate punishment for the three convicts.
In an open letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the group urged the Indonesian leader to halt the executions of the three condemned militants.
"We write to urge you to commute the death sentences of Amrozi bin H Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron (aka Mukhlas), and Imam Samudra, three men who are facing imminent execution," Human Rights Watch wrote.
Indonesian authorities last week announced the three men will face a firing squad over the attacks in early November.
Prior to the executions, security has been stepped up at major "vital installations" across the archipelago to guard against possible attacks in the lead up to and after the executions.
Imam Samudra, Amrozi, known also as the "smiling assassin," and Mukhlas, have been on death row since 2003, when a Bali court sentenced them to death for their roles in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign visitors.
None of the three bombers have shown any remorse for the attacks and have refused to ask for clemency.
The group said rather than allow the executions to go forward, Indonesia "should commute the men's sentences to life in prison."
Human Rights Watch said the death penalty was cruel and final, and not appropriate as the three were tried and sentenced under laws introduced after the bombings.
It said Indonesia was a party to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights which prohibits the use of retroactive criminal laws.
"We also note that there is no clear evidence that the application of the death penalty serves as a more effective deterrent against criminal activity than other forms of punishment."
The human rights group said it was "deeply concerned" Indonesia had recently begun increasing the rate of executions, contrary to a global trend against the use of the death penalty.