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Indonesia court rejects Bali bombers' appeal of firing squad execution

[JURIST] Indonesia's Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled [AP report] that the country's constitution [text] allows the firing-squad execution of three men sentenced to death for their roles in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC backgrounder]. The three members of the southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive], Mukhlas, Imam Samudra and Amrozi Nurhasyim [BBC profiles], had argued that death by firing squad amounts to "torture" and is contrary to Islamic law [VOA report]. The court rejected the men's request that they be executed by beheading [BBC report] rather than firing squad, ruling that any differences between the methods were immaterial. Although a lawyer for the men has said he might seek to appeal the sentence again, government officials plan to announce an execution date Friday. The Times of London has more.

In August, Indonesia's attorney general postponed the execution [JURIST report] of the three men during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, saying the legal challenge alone was insufficient to stay the sentences. A lawyer for the 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 Their first appeal had been rejected late last year, prompting an unusual second appeal, which was later withdrawn [JURIST reports].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 a second 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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