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Preparations under way for Catholics’ execution

Asia News (01/05/06)

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Preparations are under way for the execution of three Indonesian Catholics condemned to death for their role in inter-religious clashes which rocked Poso – Central Sulawesi – in 2000. The revelations of the three convicts regarding the implication of 16 people – including government and security forces officials – in the violent events, have not been followed up by the court. Many human rights organizations and inter-faith groups have called for light to be shed on those who are truly responsible for the Poso clashes; right now, it is only the three Catholics who are paying the price.

Yesterday the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) issued a statement saying its Central Sulawesi branch had started preparations to carry out the execution of Fabianus Tibo, 60 years, Dominggus da Silva, 42, and Marinus Riwu, 48 years. “The preparations are of a logistical nature,” said Prasetyo, deputy attorney-general for generic crimes in Jakarta . “One of the things to be decided is the site of the execution.” However, he refused to give more details.

Prasetyo said the police elite mobile brigade shooters, doctors, some officials from the local AGO and Poso prison officials were preparing “in earnest”. “We have taken many decisions,” he said. “However the execution date has not been set as yet.”

Regarding appeals from NGOs and religious leaders to reopen the case after the revelations of Tibo and his companions, the deputy attorney-general said: “The case cannot be reviewed; the three have already used up all the legal rights at their disposal.”

Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu were condemned to death in 2002. Last November, the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono turned down their appeal for clemency; soon after the AGO declared that the three men would be executed “soon”. Since then, local church representatives and human rights activists have been calling for the overturning of the sentence, held to be “unjust”, not least because of the pressure exerted on the court by fundamentalist Muslims.