Friday, September 22, 2006

Reports of some violence after Christian men's execution

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Violence broke out in Christian areas of Indonesia Friday after the government carried out early morning executions of three Christian men involved in a religious-incited massacre of Muslims six years ago. "Some people expressed their anger after the executions by blocking some main roads and throwing rocks at the local attorney general's house," provincial police spokesman Major Marten Raja told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, DPA, by phone from Kupang, capital of East Nusa Tenggara province. Mobs also reportedly attacked a prison in West Timor, the main island of the province, causing 250 inmates to flee. An Indonesian firing squad in Central Sulawesi province executed the three men, who were convicted in 2001 of killing dozens of Muslims during sectarian violence there the previous year despite international appeals for clemency. The condemned men - Fabianus Tibo, 60; Marianus Riwu, 48; and Domingus da Silva, 42 - maintained their innocence until the end and implicated senior government, police and military officials in the region of being the masterminds of the attacks. The executions, which had been delayed a month ago, sparked outrage among Indonesia's Christian minority and appeals for clemency from the Vatican. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population of any country in the world with about 190 million faithful but has significant minority populations of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. The executions, carried out at an undisclosed location, had been scheduled for dawn but authorities held them earlier. "I received valid information that they were executed in the police's mobile brigade headquarters at 1:50 this morning," Jimmy Tumbelaka, a Catholic priest who led prayers with the condemned before their death, told DPA. "I was with the family until the executions were carried out," Tumbelaka said. The men had been found guilty of leading a Christian militia that launched a series of attacks on Muslims in May 2000 in Poso district, including a gun and machete assault in which at least 70 people taking refugee in an Islamic school were killed. The massacre was one of the bloodiest incidents of sectarian violence between Christians and Muslims that swept through previously harmonious Central Sulawesi from 1998 to 2002, leaving more than 1,000 people from both communities dead and tens of thousands homeless. Prosecutors refused to investigate 16 people who the defendants said had orchestrated violence, and their defence team complained that no Muslims convicted of murders were sentenced to death.

Two reports of violence constitutes violence breaking out in Christian areas of Indonesia? Distorted media bias which should be expected from the Muslim media is only going to lead to renewed fighting. These reports will only fan the flames of tension and incite radical Muslims to start the cycle of violence again.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home