No death penalty until Indonesia ensures fair trials: Activist

BINTANGNEWS.com – Former National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) commissioner Ifdhal Kasim has said Indonesia should not hand down the death penalty unless it could ensure that all defendants received a fair trial, which posed a real challenge to law enforcement.
“The death penalty should be imposed only in a fair trial context, which remains a real challenge in our trial system. The death penalty should also be limited to serious crimes, not specific crimes like narcotics cases,” he said on Thursday.
Ifdhal said drug abuse was a specific crime because it had negative impacts on the users only. Meanwhile, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), serious crimes, including crimes against humanity such as genocide, could lead to widespread damage.
The activist said the state had misinterpreted the concept of the death penalty, in which it equated serious and specific crimes.
According to the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Indonesia sentenced to death 54 people within the period of 2015 to June 2016. Most of them were involved in drug crimes. Within 18 months, it further said, the government had executed 18 death-row convicts.
Indonesian Advocates Association (Peradi) chairman Luhut Pangaribuan said there were many loopholes in Indonesia’s trial system, especially when principles of due process were not regulated in the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP). He said principles of due process were crucial in the search for evidence-based truth in a trial.
“Currently, trials in our legal system fully depend on [perceptions of] judges. In fact, judges are only ordinary people who can be bribed just like other people.”***

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Editing: T. Bintang

source: Thejakartapost

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