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Jakarta Post

Religion allows it: Ma’ruf believes death penalty could deter corruption

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 12, 2019   /   05:50 pm
Religion allows it: Ma’ruf believes death penalty could deter corruption Vice President Ma'ruf Amin (left) speaks to journalists at his office in Jakarta on Friday, Nov. 8. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has said the death penalty, a highly contentious issue in Indonesia, is permitted by religion and could deter corruption.

“Despite the many objections, the death penalty is actually allowed. Many countries and religions permit [capital punishment] for certain crimes that cannot be effectively addressed through other methods [of punishment],” Ma’ruf said as quoted by kompas.com.

The reputed Muslim cleric, however, asserted that capital punishment should only be enforced under strict conditions and in exceptional cases. 

He said he believed the death penalty could be an effective deterrent to corruption, but added that the punishment should be in line with the provisions of the 2001 Corruption Law. 

“Of course, we hope [punishment] will create a deterrent effect,” Ma’ruf said, “I think the death penalty is the highest form of punishment that can deter people [from committing crimes].”

The vice president’s statement came in response to the public debate that has arisen following President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s suggestion that capital punishment could be enforced for corruption if the public supported the idea. 

The 2001 law allows for the death penalty to be enforced in “certain situations”, such as if crimes of corruption and self-enrichment are committed when the country is in danger, including during an economic or monetary crises or national disaster. 

Despite mounting calls from human rights activists and progressive figures for Indonesia to join the list of nations that have abolished capital punishment, the country continues to enforce the death penalty, typically for drug offenses, murder and terrorism. (dpk)