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FI 305/14-7
Abgeschlossen am 18. August 2015

Execution looms for a Filipino national

AI-Index: ASA 21/2034/2015

One person is still at risk of being executed in Indonesia after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Filipino national Mary Jane Veloso was scheduled for execution in April, but was granted a last-minute stay of execution. The office of the Indonesian Attorney General announced that the stay had been granted following a request by the Philippines president to enable her to testify at the trial of a woman accused of deceiving her into becoming a drug courier. The Attorney General’s office is still waiting for the results of an investigation by the Philippines authorities to determine whether she has been a victim of human trafficking. Mary Jane Veloso is in Wirogunan prison in Yogyakarta.

The Indonesian Attorney General’s Office's spokesperson announced on 22 June that no executions would take place during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which will end in mid-July. There has been no new execution date announced.

Additional Information

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, a Filipino national, was sentenced to death in October 2010 by the Sleman District Court for attempting to smuggle 2.6 kilograms of heroin into Indonesia from Malaysia at the Yogyakarta airport in April 2010. The Supreme Court rejected her appeal for a review of her case in March 2015. According to her current lawyer, she was not provided a lawyer or translator during her interrogation by the police, which was conducted in Bahasa Indonesia, a language she did not understand at the time. During her trial, an unlicensed court-provided interpreter – a student at a foreign language school in Yogyakarta – translated the proceedings from Bahasa Indonesia into English, another language in which Mary Jane Veloso was not fluent. Her execution was halted at the last minute, so she could give testimony at the trial of the person accused of deceiving her into becoming a drug courier
Fourteen executions have been carried out in Indonesia in 2015. All those executed had been convicted of drug-trafficking. Some 125 people are believed to be on death row in Indonesia – 50 for drug-related offences, despite the fact that such offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty can be imposed under international law.
Amnesty International believes that the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 6(6) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a State Party, provides that “Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant”. The Human Rights Committee, the expert body overseeing the implementation of the ICCPR, has stated that Article 6 "refers generally to abolition [of the death penalty] in terms which strongly suggest... that abolition is desirable. The Committee concludes that all measures of abolition should be considered as progress in the enjoyment of the right to life”.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception and supports calls, included in five resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly since 2007, for the establishment of a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Today, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice; out of 41 countries in the Asia Pacific region, 18 have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and a further 10 are abolitionist in practice.

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