Bali bombers ask to be beheaded
Nusakambangan, Indonesia (dpa)- Three Muslim militants on death row for the 2002 bombings on Bali island urged the Indonesian government Monday to execute them in the "Islamic" style of beheading.
"I am ready for death, but not using the evil law (of the Indonesian government)," Ali Ghufron said during a visit of around 50 members of his family and friends at Batu prison on the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan.
"They should behead me because that is God's law, and God willing, I will die as a martyr," he said.
"Facing a firing squad for execution is against humanity, and as Muslims we encourage the government to consider applying beheading because it's fast and painless," Achmad Michdan, a lawyer of the three militants, elaborated.
Ali Ghufron, Imam Samudra and Amrozi, alleged members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) - a regional terrorist network responsible for several bombings across Indonesia in recent years, were sentenced to death by Bali's Denpasar District Court in 2003 for bombing two nightclubs on the resort island of Bali in 2002, killing 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.
The three Muslim militants, who have been on death row for four years, rejected their official notification of their death verdicts on January 2, and now have 30 days to seek presidential clemency to halt their executions.
"The president is human too, and my only help should come from God," Ali Ghufron said, reiterating his decision not to seek presidential clemency.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a television interview indicated that he will not give clemency, saying that they have been sentenced to death and the process should be carried through.
"I sent them off from my cell, because they are applying evil law, and I can't work with the evil," firebrand Ali Ghufron, older brother of Amrozi, told his friends and family, who replied with shouts of "Allahu Akbar" (God is great), while raising their fists.
"I am not afraid to die, I am ready to be executed today, or anytime at all, if they even dare to do so," the militant said. "They can't give us justice, only Muslim ulemas can put us on trial."
Neither the date nor place of executions are announced in advance in Indonesia.
The Bali bombing shook the Indonesian government out of its denial that it had a home-grown terrorist problem with militants inspired by Osama bin Laden. Within weeks after the attack - the worst at that time since the September 11 attacks in the US - Indonesia's parliament passed tough anti-terrorism legislation that was later used to convict the bombers.
JI is blamed for several simultaneous church bombings across Indonesia on Christmas Eve 2000; bombings on Bali in 2002 and 2005; the JW Marriott bombing in Jakarta in 2004 and explosion at the entrance to the Australian Embassy in 2005.
Indonesian police have arrested around 400 militants since 2002, severely damaging JI's ability to operate.
None of the bombers showed remorse over the attacks.
18:16 Jan 07, 2008