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Indonesia : Stop executions, reinstate moratorium, and make progress towards abolishing capital punishment
Open letter addressed to H. E. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia
3 March 2015
We, the undersigned organizations, condemn in the strongest possible terms your decision to deny clemency to 10 individuals who are scheduled to be executed by firing squad in the coming days in Nusakambangan prison in Central Java.
Your previous refusal to grant clemency to six convicted drug traffickers on 18 January 2015 was disappointing and a step in the wrong direction. Your decision to authorize more executions in the coming weeks and months has tarnished Indonesia's international image and risks damaging bilateral relations between Jakarta and capitals of abolitionist countries, which represent 70% of the international community. In addition, your administration's decision to intervene to save the lives of the about 230 Indonesians who have been sentenced to death abroad is completely inconsistent with your determination to authorize executions in Indonesia.
We are deeply concerned that your decision to authorize executions is based on the conclusions of an outdated and criticized study by the University of Indonesia and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN). The 2008 survey provides no clear evidence for the assertion that Indonesia is plagued by a drug epidemic that allegedly causes millions of its citizens to become drug addicts and thousands of them to die every year. In addition, there is no conclusive empirical evidence that the imposition of death sentences for drug-related offences has any deterrent effect on drug trafficking and drug consumption. According to official figures, at the end of January 2015, nearly two years after Indonesia ended a four-year moratorium on the death penalty, there were 130 inmates on death row, 58 of whom had been convicted for drug trafficking.
We are also troubled by your recent statements in support for a 'war on drugs' in Indonesia. Under the banner of 'war on drugs', governments in the region and beyond have committed serious human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary detentions. Nevertheless, these policies and the 'war on drugs' have failed miserably to significantly curb drug production, trafficking, and consumption.
Executions are against Article 28(a) of the Indonesian Constitution, which guarantees everyone's right to life. They are also in breach of Indonesia's international legal obligations under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which recognizes every human being's inherent right to life.
We urge your administration to comply with Indonesia's international obligations and immediately begin the implementation of the recommendations that the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) made in July 2013 with regard to the death penalty in the country. These include :
Halting all planned executions.
Reinstating an official moratorium on all executions.
Commuting all death sentences.
Ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Abolishing the death penalty.
We thank you for your attention to this matter.
Signed by :
1. Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, KontraS (Indonesia)
2. FIDH - International Federation for Human Rights
3. Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (Iran)
4. Altsean-Burma (Burma)
5. Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, ADPAN
6. Armanshahr/OPEN ASIA (Afghanistan)
7. Association for the Right to Live, ARL (Iran)
8. Association for Human Rights in Kurdistan of Iran, KMMK-G (Switzerland)
9. Avocats sans Frontières (France)
10. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association, ADHOC (Cambodia)
11. Centre d'Observation des Droits de l'Homme et d'Assistance Sociale, CODHAS (Democratic Republic of Congo)
12. Center for Prisoners' Rights (Japan)
13. Collectif MUMIA (France)
14. Death Penalty Focus (USA)
15. Droits et Paix Cameroon (Cameroon)
16. Embrey Human Rights Program (USA)
17. Hands off Cain (Italy)
18. Human Rights and Democracy Media Center, SHAMS (Palestine)
19. German Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, GCADP (Germany)
20. International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture, FIACAT
21. Italian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Italy)
22. Japan Innocence and Death Penalty Information Center (Japan)
23. Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing (USA)
24. Lao Movement for Human Rights (Laos)
25. Lawyers For Human Rights International (India)
26. League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran, LDDHI (Iran)
27. Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP (Nigeria)
28. Lifespark (Switzerland)
29. Lualua Center for Human Rights, LCHR (Lebanon)
30. Mouvance des Abolitionnistes du Congo Brazzaville (Republic of Congo)
31. National Death Row Assistance Network of CURE (USA)
32. Nigerian anti Death Penalty Group (Nigeria)
33. Paris Bar (France)
34. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, PAHRA (Philippines)
35. Raidh (France)
36. Reprieve Australia (Australia)
37. Rescue Alternatives Liberia, RAL (Liberia)
38. Sant'Egidio (Italy)
39. Serbia Against Capital Punishment, SACP (Serbia)
40. Suara Rakyat Malaysia, SUARAM (Malaysia)
41. Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, TAEDP (Taiwan)
42. Union for Civil Liberty (Thailand)
43. Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (Vietnam)