EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 21/12/95
UA 28/95 Executions / Fear of further executions 2 February 1995
INDONESIAExecuted: Chan Ting Chong (alias Steven Chan), Malaysian national
Kacong Laranu, 62, retired Army Sergeant
At risk:Kamjai Khong Thavorn, Thai seaman
and other prisoners under finalised sentence of death
Fears for prisoners on death row in Indonesia have been greatly heightened
by the news that two executions have taken place in the country since the
beginning of 1995, including the first for drug-related offences. Until this
point, there had been no executions in Indonesia since December 1992.
Kacong Laranu was executed on 31 January. He had been sentenced to death by
Palu District Court, Central Sulawesi, in October 1986 for murder. In 1990,
his appeal for presidential clemency was also rejected.
Chan Ting Chong was executed in Cibubur, east of Jakarta, on 13 January. He
had been held in Jakarta's Cipinang prison since 1986, when he was sentenced
to death by the District Court in West Jakarta for smuggling 420 grams of heroin.
He is the first person to be executed in Indonesia for drug-related offences.
The High Court and later the Supreme Court turned down his appeals in 1986
and 1990 respectively. An appeal for presidential clemency was rejected in
1991. He, like Kacong Laranu, was executed by firing squad.
Amnesty International fears that the two executions increase the risk of
imminent execution of others on death row in Indonesia who have had their appeals
for presidential clemency rejected -- the last legal obstacle to execution.
One such prisoner is Kamjai Khong Thavorn, a Thai seaman.
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 first to the High Court and then to 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 it will close the last legal avenue available
to them and hasten their death.
The rationale for the use of the death penalty is that it will deter crime
more effectively than other punishments. Amnesty International is concerned
that, despite the hundreds 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/faxes/express and airmail letters
in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:
- expressing deep regret at the recent executions of Chan Ting Chong and Kacong