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Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the announcement of the Indonesian Government that it will carry out five death sentences

17.12.2014 - Press release

Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Christoph Strässer issued the following statement on 17 December on the announcement made by the Indonesian Government of its intention to carry out the death sentence in five cases:

The Indonesian Government has announced its intention to carry out five death sentences before the end of the year. I urgently call on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to stop the execution of these sentences and to commute them to sentences of imprisonment.

I support the Indonesian Government’s efforts to combat trade in illegal drugs in a determined manner. Nevertheless, experience shows that use of the death penalty is no more of a deterrent than the imposition of sentences of imprisonment.

In many aspects of protecting human rights Indonesia is a pioneer both in South East Asia and amongst majority-Muslim countries around the world. I call on Indonesia to fully respect the right to life in the sphere of justice and criminal law, too, and to return to a de facto moratorium on the death penalty. The vast majority of the international community – countries from all the regions of the world and from all kinds of different cultures – have opted to abolish or discontinue the death penalty.

The German Government will continue to consistently push for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty.

Background information:

On 4 December the Indonesian Government announced that it would carry out five death sentences before the end of the year. Three of the condemned were found guilty of trade in illegal drugs. There are currently 64 people sentenced to death by courts for illegal drug trafficking in Indonesian prisons.

Indonesian criminal law provides for the death penalty for serious crimes such as murder, terrorism and trafficking illegal drugs. No death sentences were carried out in Indonesia between 2009 and 2012. Indonesia’s constitution gives the President the right to grant clemency to those who have been sentenced to death.

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