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Jakarta Post

Muslim organizations support death penalty

  • Ina Parlina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 26, 2014   /  10:03 am
Muslim organizations support death penalty

Looking for support: President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo (second right), accompanied by Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin (left) and chairman of the country'€™s largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Said Aqil Siradj (right), arrives at the organization'€™s headquarters in Kramat, Central Jakarta, on Thursday. Jokowi visited NU to rally support for his call to expedite the executions of drug convicts. Antara/Widodo S. Jusuf

The country'€™s two largest Muslim organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, have given their support to President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo'€™s call for the swift execution of death-row inmates despite criticism from human rights campaigners.

Jokowi paid a visit to the headquarters of the two organizations in Jakarta on Wednesday in his efforts to rally support for his tough stance on drug convicts.

Citing the Koran and the State Constitution, NU chairman Said Aqil Siradj said drug trafficking was a serious crime punishable by death.

Muhammadiyah deputy chairman Malik Fadjar meanwhile said the country'€™s second biggest Muslim organization '€œfully supports'€ the execution of drug convicts, given the damage that they bring to young generations through drug addiction problems.

The National Police narcotics unit chief Brig. Gen. Anjan Pramuka Putra recently revealed that the number of drug-related cases nationwide had increased dramatically from 17,539 last year to 18,788 this year, saying that many foreign drug rings targeted Indonesia as their market base because the demand for drugs increased every year.

The police have also named 25,151 suspects in drug-related cases throughout 2014, an increase from 23,000 suspects last year. According to the police, 126 of those suspects were foreign nationals from several countries, including Taiwan, China and Nigeria.

Jokowi maintained that the call for the execution of drug convicts, including some foreigners, would not trouble Indonesia'€™s diplomatic ties with other countries.

'€œThose are different issues. You must understand that between 40 to 50 Indonesians die due to drug abuse every day,'€ Jokowi said.

Later on Wednesday, Jokowi held a Cabinet meeting to further discuss the drug abuse cases with relevant ministers, including Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, National Police chief Gen. Sutarman, National Narcotics Agency (BNN) head Anang Iskandar and Attorney General M. Prasetyo.

Earlier this month, Tedjo said that Jokowi has authorized the executions of five drug convicts sometime in December, with 20 other death-row inmates being prepared to face the firing squad next year.

Although the country'€™s criminal justice system recognizes a death-by-firing-squad execution for convicts who already received their legally binding sentence, the Wednesday Cabinet meeting discussed the legal complication that arose from a Constitutional Court ruling announced earlier this year that allows a convict to file multiple case reviews for their convictions.

'€œWe will coordinate first with the Supreme Court so that if there are indeed case reviews, the legal process could be expedited,'€ Prasetyo told reporters after Wednesday'€™s Cabinet meeting.

Tedjo meanwhile said that four drug convicts '€” instead of five as mentioned in his previous statement '€” were probably going to be executed in January next year, not this month.

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