Three Indonesian death row Christians to be executed in three days: lawyer

Posted in Other | 19-Sep-06 | Source: AFP

Three Indonesian Christians on death row convicted for inciting violence against Muslims in religiously-divided Central Sulawesi are to be executed in three days, their lawyer said Monday.

Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marianus Riwu were convicted in 2001 but their case has been internationally criticised for being unfair. They were due to be executed on August 12 but were given a temporary reprieve ahead of Independence Day celebrations on August 17.

"Today, Tibo and friends received their execution schedules. The prosecutor came by the jail and they were called to meet and receive their schedules. After that they were taken back to lock-up," lawyer Roy Rening told AFP.

"They will be executed in three days, or three times 24 hours from now."

The head of the Central Sulawesi prosecutors's office Muhammad Basri Akip arrived at the Palu state jail at around noon but refused to comment to the press before and after his visit, Global TV reported.

The station aired pictures of the official arriving and leaving the jail, mobbed by reporters.

The case of the trio has drawn international attention, including from Pope Benedict XVI who wrote to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono seeking clemency for them hours ahead of their initial planned execution time.

Officials in the world's most populous Muslim nation denied a connection.

Clashes between Muslims and Christians in 2000 and 2001 left more than 1,000 dead in Central Sulawesi.

A government-brokered peace accord at the end of 2001 largely ended widespread unrest, but intermittent violence has persisted.