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Amnesty urges end to executions in Indonesia

Call comes after criticism by UN rights body

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

August 1, 2013

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Amnesty International has urged the government to respond to recent recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Committee calling for amendments to the use of the death penalty and considering an all-out ban.

The committee held consultations with an Indonesia delegation this month in Geneva after which it made recommendations urging the government to reconsider capital punishment outside of the “most serious crimes” including drug offenses.

“Amnesty International believes that if effectively implemented the recommendations would strengthen the protection and promotion civil and political rights in the country,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The UN rights committee also recommended abolishing the death penalty altogether in Indonesia.

There was no response from the Indonesian government.

The thorny issue of capital punishment was submitted for judicial review in the Constitutional Court in 2007 which included a review of the 1997 narcotics law. However, the court ruled that the use of the death penalty did not contradict the right to life under the constitution.

During its Un rights committee periodic review in May last year, Indonesia rejected recommendations to abolish capital punishment or establish a moratorium on executions arguing that it was only used in rare and serious cases.

Six months later Indonesia abstained during a UN General Assembly vote on all member states to suspend executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

Indonesia executed 133 people between 1998 and December last year with 71 convicted of drugs crimes, according to the Attorney-General’s office.

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