MADPET is for the Abolition of Death Penalty, an end of torture and abuse of rights by the police, an end to death in custody, an end to police shoot to kill incidents, for greater safeguards to ensure a fair trial, for a right to one phone call and immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, for the repeal of all laws that allow for detention without trial and an immediate release of all those who are under such draconian laws.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Jokowi must stop the killings - Drug traffickers are not deterred by the death penalty.
Jokowi must stop the killings and end death penalty
February 7, 2015
It's time Indonesia realises that drug traffickers are not deterred by the death penalty.
FMT LETTERS From: Charles Hector, via email
(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is disturbed by the
recent execution of six persons in Indonesia in January 2015, and the
possibility that many more will be executed in the near future.
Indonesia seems to have had an unofficial moratorium on executions
for several years from 2008 but resumed capital punishment again in
2013. There were apparently no executions in 2014.
After President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office in October 2014,
things changed. On or about January 18, 2015, six persons were executed
by firing squad: five foreigners and an Indonesian woman convicted on
drug trafficking charges were killed.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo says that Indonesia is in a ‘state of
emergency’ with regard to rampant drug trafficking across Indonesia, and
he believes that this problem could be solved by executions. He is
wrong, and MADPET reiterates that the death penalty does not deter drug
In March 2012, it was revealed in the Malaysian Parliament by then
Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein that the mandatory death penalty has
been shown to have failed to act as a deterrent. Police statistics for
the arrests of drug dealers under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act
1952, which carries the mandatory death penalty, for 2009 to 2011 have
shown an increase.
Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairperson Lee Lam Thye
also did note in July 2013 that the death sentence had not deterred the
It is also now accepted that many persons facing the death penalty
for drug trafficking are really ‘mules’, many of whom are young people
who have been tricked, or those who are financially disadvantaged. Cases
like that of Malaysian Umi Azlim Mohamad Lazim, 24, a graduate from a
poor Malay family of rice farmers, and young Malaysian Yong Vui Kong who
were once facing death for drug trafficking, who since then had their
sentences commuted, have opened many eyes as to why the death penalty
needs to be abolished, especially for drug offences.
Malaysia is seriously moving towards the abolition of the death
penalty. Indonesia needs to consider the Malaysian experience, and
immediately put a stop to its plans to execute even more convicted drug
traffickers. There is really no empirical evidence to support the notion
that the death penalty serves as an effective deterrent to the
commission of crimes.
Further, no criminal justice system in the world is foolproof,
error-free or fail-safe. In the instance of the death penalty, there is
no opportunity to correct an error, as the execution of the death
sentence is irreversible. We recall the Taiwan case of Chiang Kuo-ching,
a private in the Air Force, who was executed in 1997 for a murder,
which the Taiwan government did admit was an error in 2011.
On December 18, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a
Resolution to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to
abolishing the death penalty, with 117 votes in favour. This was the
fifth time a resolution on this issue has been passed. There is no doubt
that the global community is more and more for the abolition of the
Indonesia, being a member nation of the global community, should
adhere to these Resolutions and immediately establish a moratorium on
all executions in Indonesia.
It has been reported that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has stated
that he will reject the clemency petitions for all drug traffickers on
death row, which is about 57 persons. This is certainly not proper or
just, for each and every application for clemency should be considered
separately and without prejudice by the President on its merits. The
presidential power to grant clemency is most important in death penalty
cases as this is the last safeguard against wrongful conviction and
therefore wrongful execution.