Amnesty International strongly condemns the execution by firing squad of Achmad Suradji in Indonesia at 9.58pm on Thursday 10 July 2008. He was convicted in 1998 of murdering 42 women and girls, believing their deaths would enhance his powers as a witchdoctor. He was granted his last request to see his wife, Tumini, who was also sentenced to death after being convicted as an accomplice to the killings. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono refused his second request for clemency in December 2007.

Amnesty International strongly condemns the execution by firing squad of Achmad Suradji in Indonesia at 9.58pm on Thursday 10 July 2008. He was convicted in 1998 of murdering 42 women and girls, believing their deaths would enhance his powers as a witchdoctor. He was granted his last request to see his wife, Tumini, who was also sentenced to death after being convicted as an accomplice to the killings. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono refused his second request for clemency in December 2007.

The execution comes a week after Indonesian authorities executed two Nigerian men, (Hansen Anthony Nwaolisa, aged 40 and Samuel Iwachekwu Okoye, 37) who were convicted of drug trafficking in 2001. Prior to that, Indonesia had not carried out any executions since April 2007. Amnesty International is very concerned at the sudden resumption of executions in Indonesia, in contrast to the global trend towards abolition.

Indonesia's Attorney General Henderman Supandji stated last month the government's intention to speed up executions. This week, Deputy Attorney General A.H. Ritonga confirmed that those on death row who had exhausted the appeals process, and whose requests for clemency from the President had been refused, would be executed as soon as possible. Amnesty International has grave fears for the welfare of the seven remaining death row prisoners who fall into this category.

Amnesty International calls on Indonesia to reverse its intention to expedite executions and to immediately establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty in line with the UN General Assembly resolution 62/149 adopted on 18 December 2007.

Background

As of 27 June, 137 countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. In recognition of this trend, in December 2007 the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 62/149 calling on all retentionist countries to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

Death sentences in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad. Firing squads consist of 12 people, six of whom are supplied with live ammunition and six whose guns are loaded with blanks. Executions are often carried out at very short notice.