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Indonesia Bali bombers appeal argues death sentence against Islamic law

[JURIST] Indonesia's Constitutional Court has accepted a death penalty challenge filed by three men condemned for their roles in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC backgrounder]. Mukhlas, Imam Samudra and Amrozi Nurhasyim [BBC profiles] argue that death by firing squad amounts to "torture" and is contrary to Islamic law [VOA report]. Lawyers say that the court does not have the authority to delay the men's scheduled execution, but that it would be "respectful" for the government to issue a stay until the court completes its review. The three men, all members of Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive], requested they be executed by beheading [BBC report] rather than firing squad in a 2006 Supreme Court appeal. Australia's ABC News has more.

A lawyer for the three men had promised to bring their constitutional challenge after the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected the third appeal [JURIST reports] in July. Their first appeal had been rejected late last year, prompting an unusual second appeal, which was later withdrawn [JURIST reports]. In May, Indonesian police arrested [JURIST report] another JI member, Faiz Fauzan, in connection with the another set of Bali bombings [BBC report] in 2005. In March, an Indonesian judge handed down 15-year sentences [JURIST report] to two JI leaders, Zarkasih and Abu Dujana [BBC profiles] after convicting them of other terrorism charges.

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