Source: Amnesty International NZ – State sanctioned killings in Indonesia: cruel, senseless and abhorrent

Amnesty International condemns in the strongest possible terms the executions of Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran, Raheem Agbaje Salami, Zainal Abidin, Martin Anderson alias Belo, Rodrigo Gularte, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze by the Indonesian government.

“This is an extremely sad day for the families and friends of the eight people executed and all those who stood in solidarity with Myuran and Andrew, and others on death row, calling for their lives to be spared,” said Diana Sayed, Human Rights Lawyer and Crisis Campaigner at Amnesty International.

Mary Jane Veloso a former domestic worker from the Philippines was given a last minute stay of execution.

Amnesty International extends its deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the eight prisoners in Indonesia tragically executed and renews its call for Indonesia to commute all death sentences.

“We stand in solidarity with the families of all those who were brutally executed in this senseless, tragic and wasteful act of state-sanctioned murder.

“Despite promising steps away from the death penalty prior to 2013 and four years without any executions, Indonesia’s resumption of this cruel and inhuman punishment has put them well out of step with the rest of the world.

Fourteen people have now been put to death in Indonesia in 2015, and the government has announced plans for further executions this year.

“The death penalty is always a human rights violation, but there are a number of factors that make today’s executions even more distressing.

“These executions have attracted international condemnation and raised serious concerns about Indonesia’s commitment to abide by its own Constitutional Court which states rehabilitated prisoners who have spent ten years on death row should not be executed.

“By resuming executions for drug-related crimes, Indonesia has also breached its own obligations as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states the death penalty should only be applied in the ‘most serious’ of crimes. Drug-related crimes do not meet that threshold.

“In Australia there was a concerted effort and strong bipartisan support to stop these executions from going ahead.

“And whilst the Australian government played a key role in voicing its opposition to the death penalty, it is critical they continue the momentum of this campaign and work with other countries to make the death penalty a relic of the past.

“These tragic and cruel deaths should serve as a clear reminder that we must continue to speak out against the death penalty and take a clear, consistent and principled approach irrespective of the nationality or circumstances of those facing execution.

Amnesty International continues to call for Indonesia to end the death penalty and join the international trend to abolish the inhuman, cruel and degrading practice.

“When Amnesty International started campaigning to abolish the death penalty in the 1970s, it seemed an impossible task, with only 16 countries that had abolished it. Now more than 30 years later, 140 countries have abolished it in law or practice,” Diana Sayed added.

“Today’s tragic events only serve to further ensure the work to end the death penalty continues, for Andrew, Myuran and all those whose lives have been ended in a senseless act of state-sanctioned murder,” Diana Sayed added.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.