Twelve Christians from Poso face the death penalty for terrorism offences.
The trials of twelve Christian men accused of murdering two Muslims near Poso, Central Sulawesi, have begun at the South Jakarta District Court. The men are charged under both the 2002 Anti-Terrorism law and articles in the criminal code, and face the death penalty if convicted.
The defendants are Harpri Tumonggi alias Api (28), Darman Aja alias Panye (23), Edwin Poima alias Epin (25), Agus Chandra alias Anda (23), Syaiful Ibrahim alias Ipul (22), Erosman Tioki alias Eman (28), Walsus Alpin alias Eje (24). Also being tried separately are Benhard Tompodusu alias Tende (28), Sastra Yudawastu Naser alias Ibo (23), Romi Yanto Parusu alias Romi (19), Fernikson Bontura alias Kenong (20), Jefri Bontura alias Ate (21).
In the aftermath of the executions of Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu and Dominggus da Silva in September 2006 Christians in various parts of the country staged a number of sometimes violent protests, both locally in and around Poso and in towns in Flores such as Atambua. In one such protest on 23rd September 2006 a mob of Christians set up a roadblock on the Trans Sulawesi road and stopped motorists to inspect their identity papers, presumably to find out what religion they were (see KTP Religion). One of the vehicles stopped by the defendants was a cargo van driven by small trader Arham Badaruddin, 40, and his helper Wandi, 25, both of whom hailed from South Sulawesi - these two men were then forced out of the van and beaten to death, over an extended period.
Lead prosecutor Bayu Adhinugroho Arianto told presiding judge Achmad Sobari it was Syaiful Ibrahim alias Ipul's idea to set up the roadblock to protest the executions of Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu and Dominggus da Silva on September 22nd 2006.
"Witnesses tell court of Christian rampage in Indonesia" says an Antara headline of April 27th 2007. antara Witness Daniel Bandue told the court in Jakarta that he watched helplessly as the gang of Christian terrorists stormed into his house and dragged away the two Muslims trying to hide.