179 Indonesians face death penalty in Malaysia: official

08:27, July 08, 2011      

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A spokesman of a task force assigned to save Indonesian migrant workers from death penalties in foreign countries said on Thursday that there are 179 Indonesians on death row in Malaysia, with most cases involving narcotics offenses, local media reported.

The comments came after a meeting of a special task force convened to look into Indonesians facing the death penalty in other countries. Humphrey Djemat, the task force's spokesman, said that during the meeting members received a rundown on the number of death penalty cases and demographics of the convicted from a number of Indonesian embassies.

"First, we heard from the Indonesian Embassy in Malaysia. They said there are 179 Indonesians facing death penalties [there]. Most of them are charged with drug abuses," he said after the meeting at the office of the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs here.

Humphrey said that of the 179 Indonesians on death row in Malaysia, 138 had been convicted of drug offenses, 37 had been found guilty of murder and four had been sentenced for illegal gun possession.

"From the total numbers, 27 are Indonesian (migrant) workers. However, there is no difference between workers and regular citizens, we help all," he was quoted by the Jakarta Globe online as saying.

Humphrey said the task force would be exploring different ways to win possible appeals or reprieves for the convicts. However, he said that 13 of those were likely beyond help. "So far, 13 out of the 179 can no longer file for court appeal" because their appeal request had already been refused by Malaysia's highest court, he said.

The last resort for those convicts, he said, would be a task force-submitted request for pardon from the head of state or sultan where the convicts are held

The task force was established following the execution last month of Indonesian migrant worker Royati binti Sapubi in Saudi Arabia. She was beheaded for the murder of her employer.

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