Two Acehnese Set to Hang In Malaysia Seek Government Help

Banda Aceh, TAG. Two Indonesians sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia for drug trafficking are seeking the government’s intervention for a commutation.

The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) said on Thursday that the Malaysian Supreme Court had rejected the appeals of Acehnese men Bustaman bin Bukhari, 37, and Tarmizi bin Yakub, 38, who have already spent 15 years behind bars. As such, they had no further avenue of appeal.
“I received all this information in a letter sent to Kontras by Bustaman. He said the appeal was over and both would be executed,” Kontras deputy coordinator Asiah Uzia told the Jakarta Globe. He added that no date had been set for the execution.
“They said that they hoped the Aceh Governor would visit them in jail [in Malaysia] and forward a request to the Malaysian government to ask about the possibility of a pardon so that they could receive a jail sentence instead of capital punishment.”
The letter, dated Aug. 3, also says both men were transferred from the Kajang Penitentiary to the Pokok Sena Penitentiary in Kedah a few months ago.
“Both are Acehnese and come from Bureuen district,” Asiah said. “They were arrested in 1995 for bringing marijuana into the country. I don’t know how much marijuana they brought in.”
Saifuddin Gani, a member of the legal team formed by the Acehnese administration in 2007 to help residents involved in legal cases in Malaysia, said that during visits to the neighboring country in 2007 and 2008 he found at least 10 Acehnese on death row for drug smuggling.
“A few days ago I received a call from Bustaman who said his appeal had been rejected and that the Malaysian Supreme Court had ruled he must hang,” Saifuddin said. Bustaman had also asked him to get the Acehnese administration to lobby the Malaysian government to drop the death sentence.
“When I had arrived in Malaysia in 2008, legal officials told me Malaysia had pardoned 30 Thai citizens who had been sentenced to death after the Thai king had intervened,” Saifuddin said.
He said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should use diplomatic channels to get the sentences reduced to jail terms.
“It needs lobbying at very high levels,” Saifuddin said. “I am not simply talking about the two Acehnese men. There are many more Indonesians who face the death sentence.”[]
Two Acehnese Set to Hang In Malaysia Seek Government Help Two Acehnese Set to Hang In Malaysia Seek Government Help Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on August 19, 2010 Rating: 5

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