Indonesian Christians to be Executed Thursday
For Immediate Release
You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address www.www.persecution.org. Contact Jeff King President, 301-989-1708, firstname.lastname@example.org
(September 19, 2006) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org has just become informed that the execution date has been re-scheduled for three Christians involved in the Poso conflict. The men are to be executed on Thursday, September 21, 2006. They were the only ones charged in a conflict in which massive numbers of Muslims participated.
After their execution was stayed last month by the Attorney General for Central Sulawesi, Mohammad Yahya Sibe, he was suddenly replaced. He was the one who had to give the order for the executions to proceed. The Chief of Police was also suddenly replaced and sent to another department. Now, the appeal for these men that should have lasted months or even a year to process has been denied within one month. The execution is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 21, 2006.
Jeremy Sewall, ICC Policy Analyst, said, The Indonesian government is sacrificing true justice to provide judicial balance by executing these three Christians to appease Muslims who are upset that three Islamic terrorists are also set to be executed for their part in the Bali bombings. This is not justice. This is deception, cover-up, and appeasement.
Tibo, Riwu, and Da Silva, all Christian, were the only men charged in the Poso conflict, even though the conflict started in 1998 and went till 2003. This is a glaring injustice and hints of massive coverup by the Indonesian government. ICC has personally investigated the Poso conflict. Entire Christian villages were attacked with government munitions and burned down using Indonesian government fuel trucks. Christian adults and children were beheaded. The Muslim community initiated the attacks and there was every indication that local Muslim government leaders were involved. Why were no Muslims ever charged in any of the attacks?
Jeff King, President of ICC, stated, There are so many Muslims in the Poso area with blood on their hands that the Governor of Central Sulawesi, where Poso is located, recently conveyed to the community that in order to attain peace it was necessary to implement a General Amnesty for those implicated in the Poso case. Religious and cultural leaders of the Poso community have also repeatedly held meetings in order to achieve a General Amnesty. Strangely, the need for amnesty is only for those who have not been charged.
ICC requests that all concerned individuals contact their Indonesian embassy to urge the Indonesian government to intervene in this case to:
1. Delay the execution.
2. Reopen a wide ranging investigation into the Poso attacks to so that everyone who is guilty can be charged or amnestied.
Indonesian Embassy US
Indonesian Embassy UK
Indonesian Embassy Canada
PETITION TO THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
September 19, 2006
The Republic of Indonesia
Washington , DC
Re: Petition for Stay of Executions
Dear Mr. Ambassador,
It is with great concern that we petition your government on behalf of three Indonesian Christians who are scheduled to be executed this Thursday. These men, Fabianus Tibo, Marianus Riwu, and Dominggus da Silva, were convicted and sentenced to death for their supposed involvement in the Poso conflict. These men continue to plead their innocence, a claim bolstered by a number of significant problems with this case that we believe warrants your immediate attention.
According to Amnesty International and other sources, the 2001 trial of these three men was unfairly conducted. These reports indicate that there were demonstrators armed with stones outside the courthouse demanding a death sentence for these men. Furthermore, the legal representatives for these men were intimidated and received death threats. A bomb was even planted at the house of one legal adviser. In such an environment, a court cannot be expected to return a fair verdict. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that witness testimony provided as evidence by the defense may have been ignored by the Court when giving its verdict. In addition, these three men are the only individuals charged in relation to the five-year Poso conflict; no Muslims have been charged with violence against Christians, and possible links to local government leaders in attacks against Christians have not been investigated.
Acknowledging these problems with the case, leaders from around the world and within Indonesia, including former Indonesian President and Muslim cleric Abdurrahman Wahid, as well as thousands of Indonesians who have taken to the streets in recent days, are calling on the authorities to abandon or at least delay the execution in order for further investigation into the case. Therefore, we call on the government of Indonesia to immediately take the following steps: 1) delay the execution, and, 2) re-open a wide-ranging investigation into the Poso attacks so that everyone who is guilty can be charged or amnestied.
International Christian Concern is a Washington , D.C. based human rights organization dedicated to the preservation of religious freedom for Christians worldwide. Visit our website at www.www.persecution.org for further information on this issue or for information about International Christian Concern.
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN