EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 21/21/95
EXTRA 32/95 Imminent Execution 23 March 1995
INDONESIAKarta Cahyadi alias Yongki, aged 32, married with children
Amnesty International fears that Karta Cahyadi may be executed on or around
27 March 1995 in Surakarta, Central Java, where, according to The Jakarta Post
of 16 February, "the provincial police command has an 11-member firing squad
ready to execute him". Karta Cahyadi has been on death row for almost five
Karta Cahyadi, along with Tugiman bin Sikin, was found guilty of robbery and
murder and sentenced to death in September 1990 in the Surakarta District Court,
Central Java. The ruling was the first in the history of the Central Java court
town. The fate of Tugiman bin Sikin is not clear.
After losing an appeal to the Supreme Court, Karta Cahyadi requested
presidential clemency, although it appears that he lodged his request without
any legal assistance. A recent article in the Indonesian press stated that
Karta Cahyadi may have failed to use a further appeal mechanism open to him
after his appeal for presidential clemency was turned down.
Amnesty International is unreservedly opposed to the use of the death penalty,
which it believes to be the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading
treatment and a violation of the most fundamental right - the right to life.
Prisoners sentenced to death by civilian courts in Indonesia have the right
to appeal to the High Court and then the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court
upholds the death penalty, their final legal remedy is to request presidential
clemency. However, clemency is seldom granted and many prisoners refuse to
request it for fear that it will close the last legal avenue available to them
and hasten their death.
Fear for prisoners on death row in Indonesia has been greatly heightened by
the fact that two of those on death row, Kacong Laranu and Chan Ting Chong,
were executed in January 1995. Prior to this there had been no executions in
Indonesia since December 1992.
As in many countries, the rationale for the use of the death penalty in Indonesia
is that it will deter crime more effectively than other punishments. However,
despite the thousands of executions that have occurred all over the world,
there is no compelling evidence that a decline in crime could be attributed
to the use of the death penalty. It is frequently not those who have committed
the most serious crimes who are executed, but those who have less skilled lawyers
to defend them, or whose social status has made them vulnerable to unfair
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams or faxes in English, Bahasa Indonesia
or your own language:
- appealing to President Suharto to commute the death sentence of Karta Cahyadi
and all death sentences that come before him;
- expressing opposition to the death penalty as a violation of the right to
life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.