Impending Executions of Christian Men

Jan 26th, 2006, in News, by

The impending executions of three Christian men.

The imminent execution of three men in Sulawesi for supposed involvement in murders and riots during the inter-religious conflicts that plagued central Sulawesi from 2000 has drawn increasing protests. The three men, Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva and Marinus Riwu, are illiterate farmers and seemed to have been picked at random and held responsible for violence against Muslims in the province.

They were convicted of murder and sentenced to death in April 2001 in a Palu court. Their most recent appeal for clemency was denied by president Yudhoyono in November 2005. Their executions were stayed to allow them to celebrate Christmas but it is feared they could be put to death any day now.

There are some ugly rumours that the authorities are determined to put the men to death as a means of “balancing” the also impending executions of the Bali bombers, as a sop to Muslim groups.

Some people, like former president Gus Dur, and human rights activists, have made pleas to the attorney general of late but to no avail.

If you’d like to help these are some mailing addresses to send protests.

President RI, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta 10110,
Indonesia Fax: +62 21 345 2685 / 526 8726

Attorney General, Abdul Rahman Saleh, Jaksa Agung, Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1, Kebayoran Baru, Jaksel 12130,
Indonesia Fax: +62 21 725 0213

Further details at amnesty.

March 03 2006. The impending executions of three Christian men convicted of involvement in inter-religious violence in central Sulawesi will go ahead this month.

Kompas reports that the three men, Fabianus Tibo (60), Dominggus da Silva (42) and Marinus Riwu (48), will go before a firing squad at an unconfirmed date according to central Sulawesi police chief Brigadier General Oegroseno, in Palu, who said:

Regarding the date and the place of the execution it is still being kept secret but it will be this month.

The general further said that he had already selected 30 men to form the firing squad.

Regarding the recent new evidence concerning the case the general said that it was none of his concern and he only followed orders from the courts.

March 22 2006. The three men who are due to be executed this month, Fabianus Tibo, 60, Dominggus da Silva, 39, and Marinus Riwu, 48, were visited by a papal envoy yesterday and pled their innocence.

Bishop Josef Suwatan of Manado, north Sulawesi, conveyed the Pope’s message to the men, “I am with you.” He also delivered rosaries and crucifixes from the Pope.

This is the second time Pope Benedict XVI has sent a special envoy to Poso. The Pope also sent a written message to the families of three high school students who were beheaded on October 29th last year. The Pope told the families of his sorrow and said he had prayed for the three girls and their families, and for peace in Poso.

Attorney General Abdul Rahman Saleh said last month the three convicts would soon be executed despite new evidence that they are not guilty.

May 10th 2006. Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu, and Dominggus da Silva have now been put into isolation cells suggesting they will soon be executed.

Yesterday the Supreme Court turned down a second appeal by the three Christian men sentenced to death for helping to incite a sectarian conflict in Poso, Central Sulawesi, in 2000. The team of justices hearing the review, Djoko Sarwoko, Marianna Sutadi, Timur P. Manurung, Arifin A. Tumpa and Paulus Effendi Lotulung, handed down a unanimous verdict after considering the case for less than a month.

This second review of the case was accepted by the Supreme Court last month following pressure from local and international human rights groups.

However, in light of the court’s rejection, Kompas reports that the three men were moved into isolation from other prisoners beginning yesterday, 9th May.

The families of the men also arrived from East Nusa Tenggara province, presumably to visit the men for the last time.

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