Execution of Bali terrorists delayed until after Ramadan
by Benteng Reges
Amrozi and his two accomplices set off the bombs in 2002 that killed 202 people. "It's not good to put someone to the firing squad during the fasting season".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The death sentence will be carried out "in the near future" against the Bali terrorists, but not before the beginning of Ramadan (September 2) nor during the Islamic holy month. Deputy Attorney General Abdul Hakim Ritonga made the announcement today, saying that "the timing has been reconsidered", after being set initially for the beginning of Ramadan. Ritonga explained that "the timing is not good" for the execution, but he did not want to provide any more details about the date selected.

The condemned are Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufron, held responsible for the bombings on October 12, 2002, which killed 202 people. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the terrorist network linked to al Qaeda and active in southeast Asia. JI was also responsible for the second attack on the island in 2005: three bombs near the popular beach area killed 20 people.

Abdul Hakim Ritonga's statements clarified an issue that has been casting shadows on the political level as well. "It is for sure, that firing someone to death during the fasting time is not good to do", he said. "We think that let (all Muslims across the country) us to carry out our religious teaching (fasting) with full heart and sincerity, without any disturbing issues such as death execution".

The announcement this afternoon followed speculation that the execution would take place this week, because security measures have been stepped up in central Java, and in Nusakambangan in Cilacap, the place where the three prisoners are supposed to go before the firing sqaud.

But skepticism about the execution is growing among the people. This week, some members of the Muslim Lawyer Team presented an appeal to the supreme court over the legitimacy of the execution. Pressure from Islamic militant groups could be behind the recent decision to change the date of the execution.