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Crowds riot over execution of three Christians JAKARTA - Indonesians rioted yesterday after the executions of three Christian men convicted of leading an attack on a Muslim boarding school that killed 200 people. Tensions flared in central Sulawesi as the trio's death by firing squad was carried out, with anger increasing as it emerged that at least one of the men's bodies was buried against his family's wishes and without the family being able to view his corpse.

As family and friends gathered before an early mass in the Catholic cathedral in the central Sulawesi town of Palu, where the three men had seen out their time in jail, there was horror and disbelief at the hasty burial of the body of Dominggus da Silva, 39. "We don't even know if they've actually been executed or not, we haven't seen the bodies," lawyer Roy Rening told The Weekend Australian. "It's being organised now to exhume the body of Dominggus."

Police also confirmed that the bodies of Fabianus Tibo, 61, and Marianus Riwu, 49, had been flown by military aircraft from Palu to their home village of Beteleme, about 10 hours' drive away. However, family and friends waiting in Palu had not been informed of the change in plans. They say police told them at 4am, local time, that all three bodies would be transported to the local cathedral for mass. "We had a promise (they would be here) for mass at 9am, but it turned out that at 6am, Tibo and Marianus were taken to Beteleme, and their families were all stuck here," said a clearly angry priest, Rinaldy Damanik. "And Dominggus was buried without ritual, just like an animal."

Poso was a focus of sectarian violence in 2000, including the attack on a pesantren, or Muslim boarding school, over which the three men were convicted. Tensions exploded in several areas of central Sulawesi yesterday, as well as Atambua, a town on predominantly Christian western Timor island, as rock-throwing mobs vandalised several government buildings and police posts. Christian leaders in Atambua managed to calm a crowd of about 1000 but not before they had stormed the local jail, freeing 200 inmates.

The rioting erupted as it was announced three Islamic militants on death row for their roles in the 2002 Bali bombings are to request that if their executions proceed they be beheaded rather than shot. Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Ali Ghufron, alias Mukhlas, and Imam Samudra avoided execution last month when their lawyers announced they would lodge an appeal over their death sentences, meted out for the attacks that killed 202 people.

Lawyer Mahendradatta said yesterday that another demand would be filed to the constitutional court, asking that it review the procedure of execution if their sentences are carried out. Executions in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad, typically at a secret time and location. Mr Mahendradatta said his clients believed execution by gunshot was "torture", and they "asked to be executed the Muslim way, by being beheaded".


Link to related event Related event:
Central Sulawesi conflict

Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict') Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict'):
21 September 2006 · Security crackdown ahead of execution of christian militants
20 September 2006 · Indonesia to execute three for racial rage
31 August 2006 · Indonesia to execute Christians despite clemency request
28 August 2006 · Christians on death row seek clemency
12 May 2006 · 3 militants arrested for beheading Christian schoolgirls


Posted in C. Sulawesi conflict @ 23 September 2006 14:27 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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