The three Catholic prisoners were originally scheduled for execution on August 12th. That execution was postponed after an appeal from Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic leaders within the overwhelmingly Muslim country. The men, Fabianus Tibo, Domingus “Domi” da Silva and Marinus Riwu, were then expected to be executed sometime early this week. As of late Tuesday evening in Indonesia the executions have not occurred.
The three Catholics have been convicted of crimes related to a series of murders and reprisals between Muslims and Christians in 2000 and 2001.
The three Muslims, Amrozi Nurhasyim, Ali Gufron, and Imam Samudra, were spared from their scheduled death by firing squad yesterday, as well.
Now the two executions seem to be linked. Indonesian government sources told the Herald Sun today that the execution of the Christian men must happen before that of the Muslims in order to avoid backlash from the majority Muslim population.
Many in the Catholic community hope that both sets of death sentences might be permanently vacated. Msgr. Rugambwa Novatus, counselor to the Holy See’s diplomatic mission in Indonesia told AsiaNews yesterday he is hopeful that, “growing opposition to the death penalty in the country and among human rights groups may lead to a reprieve in both cases.”
Novatus told AsiaNews that it is undeniable that the two cases are now linked.
.- The execution of three men convicted for their part in the 2002 terrorist bombing of a Bali resort which killed 202 and injured another 209 has been stayed again this morning, according to Australia’s Herald Sun. The stay has raised hopes and questions surrounding the postponed execution of three Indonesian Catholics.