Amnesty Urges Govt to Halt Serial Killer’s Execution

JAKARTA ~ Rights group Amnesty International has called on the government not to execute a man who murdered 42 women in “black magic” rituals.

Self-proclaimed shaman Ahmad Suraji was sentenced to death in 1998 after police found the women’s bodies buried in a sugarcane field.

He confessed to strangling most of the women and drinking their saliva to improve his magical powers after they came to him for help.

Amnesty said it recognized the need to address serious crime, but was “convinced that the death penalty does not provide a solution.”

“(We are) calling for the planned execution of Achmad Suradji to be halted immediately and for his sentence to be commuted,” it said in a statement.

Prosecutors said this week Suraji and four other Indonesians would “soon” be executed after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono rejected his clemency application. Amnesty also urged authorities to spare the lives of the four others.

Executions in Indonesia are by firing squad, usually carried out at night in isolated and undisclosed locations. The prisoner is notified of his execution date at least 72 hours beforehand.

Indonesia executed two Nigerian nationals for drug trafficking last week.

Filed under: The Nation

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