[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Oct 31 01:56:56 CDT 2007
Amnesty slams death penalty ruling
A DECISION by an Indonesian court to uphold the death penalty was out of
step with international moves to abolish capital punishment, human rights
group Amnesty said today.
Indonesia's Constitutional Court has rejected a challenge against the
death penalty, brought by 3 Australians facing the firing squad over their
role in the failed Bali Nine drug smuggling ring.
Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and drug mule
Scott Rush - along with two Indonesian death row convicts - had sought the
protection of Indonesia's Constitution, which they argued enshrined life
as a basic human right.
But in the split 6-3 decision, the majority of judges found the right to
life was not absolute and drug offences constituted serious crimes worthy
of punishment of death.
Amnesty International - which stirred controversy in Australia recently by
campaigning to spare the lives of the 3 Bali bombers on death row in
Indonesia - said it was extremely disappointed by the court ruling.
"The decision ... runs counter to the growing global trend in recognising
the death penalty is fundamentally wrong and incompatible with the right
to life," Amnesty International Australia's anti-death penalty
spokesperson Tim Goodwin said.
"The death penalty is the ultimate form of cruel and inhuman punishment,
and a violation of fundamental human rights.
"It is an absolute right. You cannot defend one human right by violating
"International law experts say that if the death penalty is going to be
used at all, it should be limited to the most serious of crimes, where it
is clearly shown there is an intention to kill such as murder.
"Drug related crimes do not fit this criteria."
The three Australians are among 6 on death row in Bali's Kerobokan Prison
for trying to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin from Bali to Australia in April
They have one final avenue of appeal, known as a judicial review, and can
also appeal to Indonesia's president for clemency if that fails.
Rush's lawyer said they would launch their appeal in Indonesia's Supreme
Court within weeks.
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