Bali families dissatisfied by execution

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The Independent Online

Relatives of victims of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people responded to the execution of three Indonesian militants for the crime by saying they do not believe justice has been fully achieved.

Imam Samudra, 38, Amrozi Nurhasyim, 47, and Ali Ghufron, 48, were executed yesterday on the island prison of Nusakambangan by a firing squad.

The men were found guilty of planning attacks on two nightclubs in the resort of Kuta.

Susanna Miller, whose brother Dan was killed in the attacks, is a member of the Bali Bombings Victims' Group.

She said last night: "Justice is supposed to have two strands to it. One is to pay recompense for the crime committed and the other is a deterrent.

"If you undermine the deterrent by effectively encouraging, allowing these people to be seen as martyrs and encouraging the Islamist cause then no it makes a mockery of justice."

Talking to the BBC she said: "Can we be clear they didn't kill my brother. None of those three men were the bombers - they didn't make the bombs, they didn't set them off, they were secondary to the bombing plot and the most important person in relation to the plot is currently held in Guantanamo Bay.

"Two other master bombers died with the rest and there is a third bomber still at large, so let's be clear these men are secondary members of the plot and don't deserve the role that the media is giving them and they are having a greater role in death than they ever did in life."

"Let's remember if you look at the IRA situation in the UK the only real IRA terrorist people remember is Bobby Sands and he of course died in prison from hunger strike."

Tobias Ellwood MP, who lost his brother Jonathan Ellwood, 37, in the attacks said he was unable to draw a line under the Bali Bombings until three fundamental questions were answered.

He said: "Firstly, the ring leader behind the Bali bombings, Hambali, dubbed by the CIA as the "Osama Bin Laden" and the operations chief for the militant group Jemaah Islamiah, was arrested by Thai authorities in 2003 and handed over to the US.

"He has never been put on trial for masterminding the Bali bombings and no one will explain why.

"Secondly, British citizens affected by the Bali terrorist attack received no compensation from the British Government. It remains the case that there is no compensation scheme available to Britons affected by overseas terrorism, even though the UK paid compensation to all the injured regardless of nationality following the London 7/7 bombings. Many countries including the US, Spain, France, Italy and Australia have updated their laws to ensure their respective citizens are protected.

"Thirdly, intelligence received by MI5 prior to the Bali bombing warned of an attack on the island. The threat level to British citizens should have been raised to 'high', a point confirmed by the Intelligence and Security Committee chaired by the Rt Hon Anne Taylor MP and presented to Parliament in December 2003. Failure to update the threat level meant many travel plans, including my brother's, went unchanged."

The three men were executed just before midnight (1700 GMT) several miles from their high security prison on Nusakambangan island, Qadar Faisal, one of their lawyers said.

Amnesty International condemned the executions. Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific director, said: "The Bali Bombers perpetrated a horrific atrocity but to continue to cycle of violence through state sanctioned killings is to answer the violation of human rights with further violations.

"The organisation recognises the need for all who committed crimes to be brought to justice but points out that there is no clear evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent.

"The executions of the Bali bombers may create martyrs whose memory risks increasing support and recruitment to their cause."