Statement delivered by IMPARSIAL to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, at a meeting with CSOs on February 5, 2018 at the office of Komnas HAM RI
Thank you, Mr. Excellency. My name is Evitarossi Budiawan and I’m from IMPARSIAL (The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor). I would like to use this opportunity to tell the case of Mr Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani death row prisoner whom we represent.
Mr. Zulfiqar Ali has been on death row for almost 14 years. Our investigation resulted in Mr. Ali being a victim of unfair trial in Indonesia, a practice that is still rife in our criminal justice system, and is innocent.
In 2010, under the instruction of the Minister of Law and Human Rights at the time, Prof. Hafid Abbas of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights conducted a thorough investigation of the case, which concluded in a recommendation to our President at the time, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to clear Mr. Ali of all charges. Unfortunately, the Cabinet Minister was reshuffled before the clemency was granted. Mr. Abbas, later as a Komnas HAM Commissioner, has also sent an official letter to President Jokowi demanding for the release of Zulfiqar Ali in 2016.
In July 2016, Mr. Ali was scheduled to be executed but was spared at last minute when our former President, BJ Habibie, sent a direct letter to President Jokowi saying (specifically by name) that Mr. Ali was innocent and therefore should not be executed.
Dear Excellency, two months ago, Mr. Ali was diagnosed with stage iv liver cancer. When the time comes, he would leave his wife and 6 children. Time is now of all the essence.
Two weeks ago, President Jokowi addressed the Pakistani Parliament, who both then urged for the release of Mr. Ali, to which Mr. President essentially said yes.
Investigations have been conducted both from the government and our side, and both resulting in Mr. Ali being innocent. Now all that is left is the political will of the President to bring justice to this victim of unfair trial.
We therefore urge Dear Excellency Mr. High Commissioner to urge the Indonesian President to keep his promise in delivering justice for Mr. Zulfiqar Ali by immediately granting him clemency on humanitarian grounds in regards to Mr. Ali’s current medical condition.