Christian trio facing firing squad in Indonesia

Image

JAKARTA: September 19, 2006. Three Christians convicted for their roles in deadly attacks on Muslims in 2000 in central Indonesia will be executed on Thursday, media reports quoted the men`s lawyer as saying. Attorney Roy Bening said the men had received a letter from prosecutors stating they would be shot by firing squad on September 21 in Palu on the island of Sulawesi, Media Indonesia and other media reported Tuesday. The three, who maintain they are innocent, were scheduled to be killed last August, but were granted a last-minute reprieve amid protests by Christian groups and an appeal for clemency by Pope Benedict. Authorities were not immediately available for comment. Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu and Dominggus da Silva were found guilty of leading a Christian militia that launched a series of attacks on Muslims in May 2000 on Sulawesi -- including a gun and machete assault that killed at least 70 people who had taken refuge in an Islamic school. The incident was one of the bloodiest in two years of fighting between Muslim and Christian gangs that killed at least 1,000 people from both faiths and left tens of thousand homeless. Only a handful of people have been convicted in the violence, and the three Christians are the only ones to be sentenced to death. Investigations into the bloodshed, which ended after a government-sponsored peace deal, appear to have ended. Local Islamic hardliners are calling for the three men to be executed. But Christian groups say the men -- uneducated farmers originally not from Sulawesi island -- are being made scapegoats. Amnesty International has raised doubts about the fairness of the men`s trials. Three Muslim militants are also on death row for their roles in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings. Analysts have said that the government in the world`s most populous Islamic nation would find it politically difficult to pardon the Christians while pressing ahead with the executions of the Muslims. More than 80 percent of Indonesia`s 220 million people are Muslims, but there are significant Christian minorities. In Sulawesi and some other eastern regions, Christian and Muslim populations are roughly equal. Indonesia has executed at least five people since 2000 for various crimes, mostly drugs offenses.

You May Also Like

Image

Pope Francis appoints bishop in US as administrator of Canadian eparchy

Vatican City: (CNA) Pope Francis appointed a New Jersey-based bishop as the administrator of a Canadian eparchy Tuesday.



The Holy See pre

Image

Pope commits to clean finances amid scandal in backyard

ROME: (AP) Pope Francis told European anti-money laundering experts Thursday that the Vatican was committed to “clean finance,” as he d

Image

Pope Francis names leading physicist to pontifical academy

Vatican City: (CNA) Pope Francis appointed the director-general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Tuesday to the Pontifical



"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com