Indonesia:- Death penalty prosecutions in Indonesia nearly doubled over last year

Death penalty prosecutions in Indonesia nearly doubled over last year, activists call for moratorium

Executions are down but death penalty prosecutions are up over the last year of President Joko Widodo’s administration. Photo: @Jokowi / Instagram

Tomorrow, October 10, is World Day Against the Death Penalty, and human rights activists in Indonesia used the opportunity to highlight an alarming increase in death penalty prosecutions over the last year, a trend that runs counter to the narrative that President Joko Widodo is softening his stance on executions.

Under President Jokowi’s administration, 14 people were executed in 2014, four were executed in 2016 and none have been executed so far this year. But in contrast to the downward trend in executions, the number of cases involving the death penalty has risen sharply over the last year.

From January-June 2016 there were 26 cases in which prosecutors demanded the death penalty and, out of those, judges in 17 of the cases sentenced the defendants to be executed. But from July 2016 to September 2017, there were 45 cases in which prosecutors asked for the death penalty and 33 in which judges handed out the sentence.

“Compared to 2016, the trend of death penalty demands and sentences, based on the number of cases, nearly doubled,” said the director of the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Supriyadi Widodo, during a discussion in Jakarta on Sunday as quoted by CNN Indonesia.

Supriyadi said most of the death penalty cases involved drug trafficking, followed by murder cases. But he noted there was a new category of death penalty case, suspects accused of child sexual assault, a crime which became eligible for the death penalty under a new law passed by President Jokowi in 2016, which contributed to the increased numbers.

There are currently 134 people on Indonesia’s execution waiting list and the attorney general has stated recently that they are still planning on carrying them all out eventually, although no dates have been mentioned.

ICJR asked that Indonesia declare a moratorium on the death penalty while the process in which criminals can be convicted and appeal the sentence be reviewed for violations of human rights. Supriyadi noted that one of the last people executed by the government, Humphrey Jefferson “Jeff” Ejike, had been denied the ability to exercise all of his appeal options before he was killed.

“Under conditions of uncertainty and doubt regarding executions, the government should immediately conduct a moratorium to avoid the great potential for human rights violations,” he said.

Speaking at the same discussion, Ifdhal Kasim, an advisor on political, legal and human rights issues at the Presidential Staff Office, said it was unlikely the administration would declare a moratorium as the government believed that the death penalty was an effective deterrent to fight the so-called drug emergency facing the country.

Source: Coconut Jakarta, 9/10/2017

Parliamentrary Roundtable Towards Abolition – Kuala Lumpur(25/7/2017)

On 25 July 2017, parliamentarians, representatives from civil society and the diplomatic community met in the Parliament of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur, to discuss the abolition of the death penalty in the region. This roundtable was convened by Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), in the framework of its partnership with Ensemble contre la peine de mort (ECPM), the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) and the Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH),

 

The roundtable was hosted by Honourable Kula Segaran, Secretary of PGA’s National Group in Malaysia and Member of PGA’s Executive Committee.

 

Participants first discussed the situation of the death penalty in Malaysia, with opening statements from Mr. Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, Executive Director of ECPM, H.E. Dr. Angela Macdonald, Acting Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, and H.E. Mrs. Maria Castillo Fernandez, Ambassador & Head of the European Union Delegation to Malaysia, who all vowed to support Malaysian parliamentarians and authorities in their efforts to reduce the scope of the capital punishment. Most significantly, Hon. Azalina Othman Said, Minister of Law, described Malaysia’s efforts to reduce the use of death penalty and announced that a bill abolishing the mandatory aspect of capital punishment for drug-related crimes would soon be presented to the Cabinet, before being put to vote in Parliament.

 

After substantive contributions from Hon. Kula Segaran, Mr. Charles Hector Fernandez, Coordinator of MADPET, Hon. Liew Ching Tong, PGA Member, and Tan Sri Razali Ismail, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), all attendants participated in a fruitful debate where they exchanged views on how to best promote the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia.

 

The roundtable also gave the participants an overview of the situation of the death penalty in other Asian countries, thanks to the very detailed presentations from Ms. Ngeow Chow Ying, Member of the Executive Committee of ADPAN, Hon. Eva Sundari, Indonesian MP and PGA Member, Mr. Julian McMahon Barrister and Member of Reprieve Australia’s Board, and Mrs. Zainab Malik, Head of Advocacy at Justice Project Pakistan. Chaired by Hon. Thomas Su Keong Siong, Treasurer of PGA’s National group in Malaysia, and Hon. Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, PGA Member, this session allowed all participants to identify similitudes and synergies between efforts led by parliamentarians in Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and other countries in the region.
All participants voiced their deep concerns at the increasing number of executions in Indonesia and Pakistan and at the multiplication of extrajudicial killing in the Philippines. They vowed to tackle the issue of the death penalty in their respective countries and on the regional level.
The participants came out with the following Action Plan.

Action Plan

Recalling the international human rights standards and instruments that guarantee the right to life and protect the human dignity of death row inmates, as well as the General Assembly of the United Nations’ resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty,

Considering how the death penalty is currently used in Malaysia and in the region, despite the lack of evidence of its deterrent effect,

Acknowledging the crucial role that legislators hold to promote the abolition of the death penalty, to reduce and restrict its use and to further the development of the Rule of Law through legislative initiatives and by leading public opinion,

We, the participants of the Parliamentary Roundtable on the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia and in Asia, commit to:

1. Continue to strive to inform our constituents and others about the death penalty and its related issues, to grow a consensus in favour of its abolition, including through public statements;

2. Create within our respective parliaments a multi-partisan group of parliamentarians dedicated to further the abolitionist cause, through engagement with other stakeholders and in particular with PGA, ECPM and ADPAN;

3. Engage with families affected by the death penalty, both the relatives of victims and of accused, and give them a role to play in our advocacy efforts;

4. Engage with student bodies to promote the abolition of the death penalty;

5. Make clear, whenever the opportunity arises, that under international law the death penalty should only be applied to “the most serious crimes” and that drug-related crimes do not meet this threshold;

6. Make clear, whenever the opportunity arises, that under international law the death penalty should not be made mandatory for any category of crimes, as it negates the rights of the accused to benefit from a sentence reflecting the circumstances of the crime;

7. Request from our respective governments that a review of existing death row cases be conducted to
assess inter alia the impact of the mandatory death penalty and the background of those affected;

8. Raise the issue, whenever the opportunity arises, of the discriminatory aspect of the death penalty, in particular against poverty-stricken communities, trafficked individuals, the mentally ill, juveniles, and minorities;

9. Keep the abolition of the death penalty at the forefront of legislative discussions, and especially when discussing matters of criminal justice and criminal procedure, to ensure that the capital punishment should only be used at the outcome of a fair and transparent trial;

10. Urge our respective governments, both federal and state, and all bodies that exercise clemency powers to commute death sentences;

11. Demand from our respective governments that no execution be carried out in secret or hastily, that an adequate notice be given to the family before execution, and that statistics are strictly kept and made public;

12. Develop strategies to reduce the scope of the death penalty in our respective countries, especially by introducing legislation reducing the number of capital offences;

13. Request a full moratorium on the use of the death penalty and that a national Commission of Inquiry on the efficiency of the capital punishment be created and its results published;

14. Ensure that our governments fully respect the Convention on the rights of child (CRC) and the
Convention on the elimination of all forms of discriminations against women (CEDAW);

15. Express our concerns at the dramatic increase of executions in Indonesia;

16. Express our concerns at the dramatic increase of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines;

17. Encourage and support our Filipino colleagues in ensuring that the death penalty not be reintroduced in the Philippines;

18. Express our concerns at the dramatic increase of executions in Pakistan;

19. Urge our respective governments to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP2) aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;

20. Urge our respective governments to make a more forceful representation to countries where their
citizens are sentenced to death and that the latter be ensured legal representation under the Vienna
Convention;

21. Bring issues related to the death penalty at the forefront of regional discussions, including at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, to develop a better cooperation among MPs throughout the region and promote abolition;

22. Call upon all governments to abolish the death penalty; and more specifically:

In Malaysia:

23. Continue to request from the government that the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 be reviewed to abolish the mandatory aspect of the death penalty as announced by Min. Azalina Othman Said on 21 February 2016 and again during this very roundtable on 25 July 2017;

24. Urge the government of Malaysia to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR);

In Indonesia:

25. Use all legislative powers at our disposal, including that of amendments, to ensure that the new Criminal Code and the Law on Counter-Terrorism reduce the scope of the death penalty;

In Pakistan:

26. Promote a revision of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 to ensure that defendants accused of ordinary crimes not be tried before Anti-Terrorism Courts; and

27. Demand that torture be expressly prohibited in Pakistani criminal law, that penalties and remedies be defined, and that a National Prevention Institution be created.

“As parliamentarians, we have a role to play to go beyond vengeance” declared Hon. Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, PGA Member.

Reference

Parliamentarians for Global Action(PGA) Website

See related posts:-

Bill To End Mandatory Death Penalty For Drug Offences Maybe Tabled Before This Parliamentary Session Ends(MADPET Media Statement))

Parliamentarians need educate constituents for abolition of death penalty(Star)

** 3 ADPAN Executive Committee Members made presentations at this event.

 

 

UNGA Resolution 2016 -24 of OIC’s 57 member states voted in favour, 13 abstained and 18 voted against

The resolution adopted on Dec 19, 2016 was backed by 117 states, while 40 voted against it and 31 abstained.

South Asia maintained its fondness for the death penalty as Pakistan joined Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Maldives in rejecting a universal moratorium, while Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka voted in favour.

24 of the OIC’s 57 member states voted in favour of the moratorium, while 13 abstained and only 18 voted against. The Muslim states that voted against were: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Those who abstained included: Bahrain, Came­roon, Comoros, Djibouti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, and the UAE.

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