11/06/2008, 00.00
INDONESIA

Execution of Bali bombers tomorrow. Island on high alert

Mathias Hariyadi
The authors of the massacre in 2002 will be killed by firing squad tomorrow at dawn. Indonesian security forces are afraid of terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations, even following the execution of the three Islamic militants. Extraordinary security measures to protect possible targets of attacks in the country.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Their execution seems to be imminent, scheduled for three o'clock local time tomorrow morning. The authors of the massacre in Bali are expected at dawn outside the former prison of Nirbaya Hill, in the central district of the island of Java, three kilometers from the maximum-security prison of Nusakambangan where they are detained.

After the first death sentence, handed down in 2003, and a series of delays and procedural appeals, the affair of the three Islamic militants seems to have come to its conclusion.

There has not been the official confirmation from the Indonesian attorney general, but various elements seem to validate the hypothesis that the execution of Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufrom is imminent.

This afternoon, representatives of the accused from the district of Serang and the province of Banten visited the family of Imam Sumadra in the village of Lopang Gede. Amri Sata, the public minister of the district of Serang, has provided no details on the reason for the visit, saying only that "we are authorized to give official information to the family." Indonesian law authorizes the local public minister to inform the families of the condemned about the times and terms of their execution.

Another sign considered to be a confirmation of the imminent execution comes from the news of the suspension of work at a construction site in Cilacap. The police have ordered a stop to the circulation of heavy machinery and transportation vehicles in the area. The security measures are substantial and widespread in various areas connected in different ways to the execution. An official of the port of Wijayapura, the point of departure for the boats connecting Java to the penitentiary where the three prisoners are being held, confirms that "people are not allowed to enter Nusakambangan until next Monday."

The defense attorney for Amrozi (in the photo, together with some family members) has also presented a protest to the national commission for human rights, complaining about the slowness of the office of the public minister in allowing permission for the last visit to the condemned by his lawyers and family. At the same time, some demonstrators belonging to Muslim groups have held protests in front of the office of the attorney general, claiming that "Amrozi's execution is nothing more than the massacre of an innocent Muslim." Protests and demonstrations against the government and in favor of the three attackers have continued in recent days, and an alarm was issued, and then recalled, over the risk of an anthrax attack.

Security forces on the island are on high alert, and the list of possible targets includes the embassies of the United States and Australia. The climate is being made even more tense by a statement from Abu Bakar Bashir. In an interview with the Australian newspaper The Age, the cofounder of the extremist group Jemaah Islamiah says that after the execution, he intends to attend the funerals of Amrozi and Imam Samudra. The police are already preparing for the arrival of radical Islamic groups that have announced that they will attend the funerals of the two attackers, expected to take place in Tenggulun.

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