Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Indonesian Catholics To Be Executed?

Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus “Domi” da Silva and Marinus Riwu were condemned to death because they were found guilty of masterminding the massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Poso in 2001, during an inter-faith conflict that shook the area between 1998 and 2001. So far, not one Muslim has been tried in relation to the clashes that claimed a high death toll among Christians too.

In his last words, Tibo hit out at the Indonesian legal system “that condemned three innocent peasants to death when all they did was offer help to Catholic victims of the violence in Poso. Why will those criminals who raped, killed and looted during those times be spared?”

There's a stay in effect, apparently.

He said the delay was due to letters by Pope Benedict XVI, the Bishops' Conference of Indonesia (KWI) and interfaith leaders, but the execution would be carried out after Aug. 17, Indonesia's Independence Day.

Robertus was in Palu, where his father was sentenced, together with his mother, wife and son, and da Silva's uncle. They await permission to meet with Tibo and his friends to ascertain their condition after the delay.

"We hope the government will not just postpone the execution but free them from the death sentence because they are innocent," said the farmer, who works to gather rattan to support his mother, wife and son. "They are not the masterminds of the Poso riots."

Indonesia has been the scene of some of the bloodiest episodes of the current worldwide jihad. Lord help the religious minorities there, if even the current corrupt civil government gives way before the onslaught.

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