M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) in responding to the death sentence handed to the defendant of the police murder case trial Ferdy Sambo says the sentencing does not align with the spirit of the 2016 death penalty moratorium.
"This sentencing is not in line with the moratorium on the death penalty," said KontraS coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti to Tempo on February 13.
Fatia acknowledged that the moratorium is indeed yet to be ratified by the government but factually the death penalty has never been implemented in Indonesia's legal system since 2017. She insists that the human rights watchdog's criticism is not exclusively aimed at Ferdy Sambo's case.
Citing the KontraS website, there are 31 death penalty verdicts handed out in Indonesia from October 2021 up to September 2022.
In terms of provinces or regions that have implemented this type of legal punishment, the most are Aceh with 7 sentences and 27 defendants across mostly narcotics cases. Aceh is followed closely by North Sumatra which had handed out 6 death penalties involving 13 defendants.
The distribution of other death sentences was successively handed down in: West Java, East Java, Lampung, and Riau with 3 sentences; North Kalimantan with 2 sentences; and DKI Jakarta, East Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, and South Sumatra with 1 verdict each.
"In this case, we see that Indonesia has not fully committed to a moratorium on death sentences. Not only the lack of commitment but we also try to discuss the absence of the principle of a fair trial in the imposition of death sentences in Indonesia," the KontraS report stated.
Based on several notes and findings as well as a lot of pressure both nationally and internationally, KontraS advises the Indonesian government to review the application of the death penalty practice in Indonesia.
As of October 10, 2022, the human rights watchdog gave a number of recommendations to the government, among them urging the government to commit to implementing the death sentence moratorium, committing to eradicate any form of torture, and guaranteeing the basic rights of death row inmates.
KontraS also urged the government to end the use of isolation cells in prison facilities for death sentence inmates.