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UN rights expert urges Indonesia to restrict use of death penalty

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Christof Heyns [official profile] on Monday urged [statement] the Indonesian government to restrict the use of capital punishment to comply with their international human rights obligations. On March 14, Malawian national Adami Wilson was executed by firing squad after being convicted on drug smuggling charges. According to the UN, an execution for less serious crimes, including drug charges, is arbitrary and unlawful. Heyns stated:

Such a practice is unacceptable. Under international law, the death penalty is regarded as an extreme form of punishment which, if it is used at all, should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, that is, those involving intentional killing, and only after a fair trial.
Currently, more than half of the prisoners sentenced to death in Indonesia have been convicted on drug charges. The execution of Adami Wilson was the country's first use of the death penalty since the 2008 execution of three men convicted for their involvement in a nightclub bombing [JURIST news archive] that killed 202 people. The Indonesian Attorney General has announced plans to execute 20 inmates later in 2013.

Indonesia has been under recent international scrutiny for human rights violations. In 2012 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] urged [JURIST report] the Indonesian government to end violence and discrimination against Christians and Muslim minorities. The UN's call to end discrimination was followed after a Shia clerk was imprisoned [JURIST report] for blasphemy charges. In March 2012 Indonesia drew national criticism after convicting [JURIST report] five peaceful protestors for treason.

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