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Indian, Pakistani neighbours on death row in Indonesia

Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 03:45 PM
An Indian and his Pakistani neighbour in Indonesia are among the 14 people scheduled to be executed by firing squad by Jakarta by the week-end.

Gurdip Singh was found guilty of trying to smuggle 300g of heroin in to Indonesia in 2004. He was sentenced to death by the state district court in Tangerang in 2005. Prosecutors had initially recommended a sentence of 20 years. Singh retracted an initial statement he made against Pakistani national Zulfiqar Ali, admitting he was coerced into making the false admission in return for a more lenient sentence for himself.

Zulfiqar Ali was sentenced to death in 2005 for possessing 300g of heroin, a punishment backed by the Indonesian Supreme Court the following year. Police had arrested the businessman at his home in West Java in 2004. Ali has said he was detained in his home for three days by officers who beat him until he signed a confession. He later had surgery for stomach and kidney damage allegedly caused by the assaults.

Ali, charged along with Gurdip Singh, was detained at the airport in Jakarta with the 300g of heroin. Singh told the police the heroin had been given to him by Ali, his neighbour, and his partner Dinong Pratidina. Singh later retracted his allegation against Ali. No heroin was found at Ali’s home.

Indonesia is likely to resume executions of prisoners this week, with 14 inmates – four Indonesians and 10 foreign nationals, including Gurdip and Zulfiqar – expected to face the firing squad this weekend.

No formal list of death row prisoners has been released by the Indonesian authorities, but a group of lawyers from the Community Legal Aid Institute has compiled a list of those it believes will be in the next round of executions.

Britons Lindsay Sandiford and Gareth Cashmore, and American Frank Amado are not on this list, but remain on death row.

Indonesia is ready to execute the 14 detainees this week despite doubts over the prisoners' guilt.

Indonesia has not carried out the death penalty since it killed 14 prisoners last year – six in January and eight, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran, in April – prompting an international outcry. Capital punishment for drug-related offences is prohibited under the international law.
Agency: Ap7am Desk

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