The Death Penalty is Not The Solution

Press Release
The Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (The HATI Coalition)

October 10th is commemorated around the world every year as the Day against the Death Penalty. Looking at the international trend, the narrative to abolish the death penalty is getting stronger, which is proven by the fact that only a few countries still approve the death penalty. There are 108 countries that have abolished the death penalty from their legal system, which brings a total of 144 countries that have not carried out the death penalty either because it has abolished it, or have implemented a moratorium on the death penalty. This can be interpreted that at the global level there is a positive trend in efforts to abolish the death penalty. Only a few countries still impose death sentences and carry out executions of death row inmates. Contrary to the global trend that supports the abolition of the death penalty, Indonesia is actually one of the few countries that still approve the death penalty, at various levels of court.

We see that the increasing number of death penalty sentences shows that the Indonesian government is not committed to protecting the life rights of its citizens. Moreover, the high number of death penalty sentences in Indonesia is also in stark contrast to the image that is being built by the Indonesian government at the international level. Indonesia was elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council 2020-2022 and even becomes a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council which is a highly respected and strategic position at the international level. However, in reality, Indonesia still does not have the political will to support the moratorium and abolition recommendations in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted by the UN Human Rights Council. In the UPR Session, there were at least 20 recommendations related to the death penalty which the Indonesian government had completely ignored. Instead of accepting the recommendation for a moratorium on the death penalty, in its development, Indonesia has also changed its attitude in the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council regarding the moratorium on the death penalty, which should be the direction of human rights policy at the national level. Instead, Indonesia still uses a rather awkward approach by using the death penalty as an alternative punishment to the Criminal Act Revision.

Ironically, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, when all people in the world are trying to save lives, the courts in Indonesia actually take lives by giving the death penalty through a trial conducted via video teleconference, where there is minimal space for the Defendant to defend and still far from fair trial practice. The Coalition considers that the implementation of the death penalty is inappropriate in Indonesia, especially considering the legal process and judicial system in Indonesia which still has many serious problems such as rampant deviant trials, corruption, violent practices, wrongful arrests, lack of access to quality legal aid, and transparency issues.

The rejection of the death penalty is caused by the opinion that the death penalty can be a solution to criminal problems in Indonesia such as Narcotics, Terrorism and Corruption. In fact, if you look at the figures in the field, the application of the death penalty does not help reduce the number of these crimes. In fact, for the crime of terrorism, the death penalty is the goal of the terrorists themselves because they are considered to be carrying out jihad. As for corruption cases, countries in the world with low corruption rates have removed the death penalty from their legal systems since hundreds of years ago. In addition, the regulation of the death penalty in the Criminal Act Revision where the death penalty is threatened alternatively and the convict must undergo a waiting period of 10 (ten) years before it can be evaluated by the government also raises other problems.

Based on the above reading, the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (HEART Coalition) thus urges:

  1. The government to cancel all plans for future executions and immediately imposes a moratorium on the death penalty as well as abolishes crimes indicated by unfair trials;
  2. The President to form a special team tasked with reviewing clemency applications submitted by death row convicts;
  3. The government to evaluate and studies cases of death row convicts to ensure that there is a correct, fair and accountable legal process, thus closing the opportunity for wrongful sentences to occur;
  4. The government and the Citizen Representation Board to abolished the death penalty in the Draft Criminal Code and various other laws;
  5. The government and the DPR to revise Law no. 5 of 2010 concerning Clemency, in particular regarding the deadline for clemency requests in cases of death row convicts, which should not be limited by time as has been canceled by the Constitutional Court in Decision No. 107/PUU-XII/2015, as well as related to the process of applying for clemency which should not be complicated to ensure that the convict's rights are not violated;
  6. The President to permanentize a Government Regulation (PP) to implement the Clemency Law which can be a standard or guideline for the President in making decisions regarding clemency requests for death row convicts by referring to the principles of human rights.
  7. The President to form a team to review the conditions of death row convicts in prisons and ensure commutation measures for the death penalty.

Jakarta, October 9th, 2021
The HATI Coalition


Members of the HATI Coalition:

  1. Imparsial (The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor)
  2. Institute for Community Studies and Advocacy (Elsam)
  3. Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS)
  4. Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR)
  5. Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)
  6. Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)
  7. SETARA Institute
  8. The Association for International Human Rights Reporting Standards (FIHRRST)
  9. LBH Masyarakat
  10. LBH Jakarta
  11. LBH Press
  12. Indonesian Drug Victims Brotherhood (PKNI)
  13. Satu Keadilan Foundation
  14. Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI)
  15. Migrant Care
  16. Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared (IKOHI)
  17. PILNET (Public Interest Lawyer Network)
  18. International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID)


Amalia Suri (082367832141)

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