Capital punishment in Indonesia

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Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Indonesia. Although the death penalty is enforced only sometimes in grave cases of premeditated murder, it is regularly applied to some drug traffickers.


Though the death penalty existed as a punishment from the inception of the Republic of Indonesia, the first judicial execution did not take place until 1973.[1]

The Indonesian government does not issue detailed statistics about every person facing the death penalty in the country. In fact, "the search for precise figures is hampered by prevailing state secrecy over the death penalty."[2] It is believed, however, that there are around 130 people, Indonesians and foreign nationals, currently (as of 2013?) sentenced to die in Indonesia. About ten new death sentences are handed down annually, though executions are infrequent. Many of the prisoners awaiting execution have been waiting for ten years or more. Four executions took place in 2013, the first since 2008. In 2014, no executions took place. In January 2015 six people (among them one Dutchman, one Brazilian, one Vietnamese, one Malawian and Nigerian) were shot for drug-related crimes.[3] In April 2015, another eight men, including several Nigerian nationals, one Brazilian and two Australian citizens were executed, also for drug trafficking.[4][5] There were no executions in 2017 and 2018 and none have been scheduled for 2019, possibly as a result of intense and widespread international criticism the Indonesian government had to face for carrying out the last executions. President Jokowi has since stated that he is now open to reintroducing an official moratorium on the death penalty.[6] Indonesia is well noted as "a strong advocate against the death penalty for its citizens abroad."[7]

Legal process[edit]

Prisoners spend often a long time in prison before their sentence is finally carried out. Usually their final appeal has been exhausted through the trial court, two appellate courts, and consideration of clemency by the President.

Prisoners are woken up in the middle of the night and taken to a remote (and undisclosed) location and executed by firing squad. The method has not changed since 1964.[8][9]

The prisoner states their final request which the prosecutor may grant when deemed feasible and do not obstruct the execution process.[10]

The blindfolded prisoner is led to a grassy area where they have an option to sit or stand.[8] The armed soldiers shoot at the prisoner from a range of five to ten metres, aiming at the heart.[8] Only three fire live bullets and the rest fire blanks.[8] If the prisoner survives the shot, the commander is required to shoot the prisoner in the head with his own weapon.[11] The procedure is repeated until a doctor confirms no signs of life remain. [10]


In 2007, the Indonesian Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia) upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty for drug cases, by a vote of six to three.[12] The case was brought by prisoners sentenced to death for drug crimes, including some of the Bali Nine, a group of Australian citizens sentenced to prison and the death penalty for drug trafficking in Bali in 2005.

Statutory provisions[edit]

The following is a list of the criminal offences that carry the death penalty in Indonesia:[13]

  • Attempt with intent to deprive the President or Vice-President of his or her life or liberty or to render him or her unfit to govern (Indonesian Criminal Code (Kitab UU Hukum Pidana – KUHP) Art. 104)
  • Aiding or protecting Indonesia's enemies at war (KUHP Art. 123 & 124)
  • Fraud in delivery of military materials in time of war (KUHP Art. 127)
  • Killing the head of state of a friendly state (KUHP Art. 140)
  • Premeditated murder (KUHP Art. 340)
  • Gang Robbery or theft resulting in grave injury or death (KUHP Art. 365 section 4)
  • Piracy resulting in death (KUHP Art. 444)
  • Instigating or inciting rebellion or riot against a state defence company during times of war (KUHP)
  • Gang Extortion with violence resulting in death or grave injury (KUHP)
  • Possession and misuse of firearms and/or other explosives (Emergency Law No. 12/1951)
  • Criminal acts during air flights or against aviation infrastructure (Law No. 4/1976)
  • Production, transit, import and possession of psychotropic drugs (Law No. 5/1997 on Psychotropic Drugs)
  • Production, transit, import and possession of narcotics Class I or Class II exceeding 5 grams if involving production or import exceeding 1 kilograms if involving transit or possession or trafficking (Law No. 35/2009 on Narcotics)
  • Corruption under "certain circumstances," including repeat offenders and corruption committed during times of national emergency/disaster (Law No. 31/1999 on Corruption)
  • Gross violations of human rights, including genocide and crimes against humanity (Law No. 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts)
  • Acts of terrorism (Law No. 15/2003 on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism)
  • Espionage (Law No. 31/PNPS/1964 on atomic energy, Art. 22 and 23)
  • Sexual Assault against child cause death or serious injury or against multiple victim (Law No. 22/2002 as amended by Law No. 17/2016)[14]
  • Development, production, obtaining, transfer or use of chemical weapons (Law No. 9 of 2008 relating to chemical weapons, Art. 14 and 27)[14]

Execution statistics[edit]

Indonesia ended a four-year moratorium on the death penalty with the execution of Adami Wilson, a citizen of Malawi, on 14 March 2013.[15]

On 17 May 2013, three more prisoners were executed at Nusa Kambangan Prison on an island off the coast of Java. All three were sentenced to die for murder. Suryadi Swabuana was convicted of the premeditated murder of a family in Sumatera in 1991; Jurit bin Abdullah and Ibrahim bin Ujang were convicted of a joint murder in Sekayu, South Sumatra, in 2003.[16]

Executions in Indonesia during and after Suharto era:[17][18][19]

Year Convict Age (Gender) Nationality Crime Location
Freddy Budiman 39 (♂) Indonesia Drug trafficking Surabaya
Seck Osmane 38 (♂) Senegal/Nigeria Drug trafficking
Humphrey Jefferson Ejike (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Michael Titus Igweh (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Ang Kiem Soei (♂) Netherlands Drug trafficking Tangerang
Marco Archer 53 (♂) Brazil Drug trafficking Jakarta
Daniel Enemuo 38 (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Namaona Denis 48 (♂) Malawi Drug trafficking
Rani Andriani 38 (♀) Indonesia Drug trafficking Tangerang
Tran Bich Hanh[20] (♀) Vietnam Drug trafficking
Martin Anderson (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Raheem Agbaje Salaami (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Okwudili Oyatanze (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Zainal Abidin (♂) Indonesia Drug trafficking
Rodrigo Gularte 42 (♂) Brazil Drug trafficking
Andrew Chan 31 (♂) Australia Drug trafficking Bali
Myuran Sukumaran[21] 34 (♂) Australia Drug trafficking Bali
Ademi (or Adami or Adam) Wilson alias Abu (♂) Malawi Drug trafficking
Suryadi Swabuana (♂) Indonesia Murder
Jurit bin Abdullah (♂) Indonesia Murder
Ibrahim bin Ujang (♂) Indonesia Murder
Amrozi bin Nurhasyim (♂) Indonesia Terrorism Bali
Imam Samudra (♂) Indonesia Terrorism Bali
Huda bin Abdul Haq alias Mukhlas (♂) Indonesia Terrorism Bali
Rio Alex Bulo alias Rio Martil (♂) Indonesia Murder
Tubagus Yusuf Maulana alias Usep (♂) Indonesia Murder
Sumiarsih (♀) Indonesia Murder
Sugeng (♂) Indonesia Murder
Ahmad Suradji (♂) Indonesia Murder
Samuel Iwuchukuwu Okoye (♂) Nigeria Narcotics
Hansen Anthony Nwaliosa (♂) Nigeria Narcotics
Ayub Bulubili (♂) Indonesia Murder
Fabianus Tibo (♂) Indonesia Riot Poso
Marinus Riwu (♂) Indonesia Riot
Dominggus Dasilva (♂) Indonesia Riot
Astini Sumiasih (♀) Indonesia Murder
Turmudi (♂) Indonesia Murder
Ayodhya Prasad Chaubey (♂) India Drug trafficking North Sumatra
Saelow Prasert (♂) Thailand Drug trafficking North Sumatra
Namsong Sirilak (♀) Thailand Drug trafficking North Sumatra
Gerson Pande (♂) Indonesia Murder East Nusa Tenggara
Fredrik Soru (♂) Indonesia Murder East Nusa Tenggara
Dance Soru (♂) Indonesia Murder East Nusa Tenggara
Adi Saputra (♂) Indonesia Murder Bali
Chan Tian Chong Indonesia Narcotics
Karta Cahyadi (♂) Indonesia Murder Central Java
Kacong Laranu (♂) Indonesia Murder Central Sulawesi
Sergeant Adi Saputro (♂) Indonesia Murder
Azhar bin Muhammad (♂) Indonesia Terrorism
Satar Suryanto (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Yohannes Surono (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Simon Petrus Soleiman (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Noor alias Norbertus Rohayan (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Tohong Harahap (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Mochtar Effendi Sirait (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Abdullah Umar (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, Islamist activist)
Bambang Sispoyo (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, Islamist activist)
Sukarjo (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Giyadi Wignyosuharjo (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Liong Wie Tong alias Lazarus (♂) Indonesia Murder
Tan Tiang Tjoen (♂) Indonesia Murder
Sukarman (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)

Foreign nationals[edit]

The people on death row include foreign nationals, all but one of whom were convicted of drug-related offences. These foreign inmates come from 18 different countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Ghana, India, Iran, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.[18][failed verification]


  1. ^ Hood, Roger (2003). The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 48. ISBN 978-0199251292.
  2. ^ Daniel Pascoe. "Three Coming Legal Challenges to Indonesia's Death Penalty Regime".
  3. ^ Wall Street Journal: Indonesia Executes 6 Drug Convicts, Including 5 Foreigners
  4. ^ Safi, Michael (28 April 2015). "'Bali Nine' pair among eight executed for drug offences in Indonesia". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  5. ^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH (17 January 2015). "Empörung über Todesstrafe: Indonesien lässt fünf Ausländer erschießen". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
  6. ^ "Jokowi Open to Death Penalty Review".
  7. ^ Andrew Novak. "The Future of the Mandatory Death Penalty in Malaysia and Singapore: "Asian Values" and Abolition in Comparative Perspective, with Implications for Indonesia".
  8. ^ a b c d Cormack, Lucy (17 January 2015). "Drug traffickers in Indonesia face firing squad of 12 in first executions of 2015". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  9. ^ Finlayson, Gregory. "Indonesian Death Penalty Mechanism". Greg Finlayson Lawyers. Greg Finlayson. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  10. ^ a b Tata Cara Eksekusi Mati: Eksekutor Bidik Jantung dari Jarak 5-10 Meter, retrieved 31 August 2019
  11. ^ "Indonesia widens use of executions". The New York Times. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Decision No. 2-3/PUU-V/2007" (PDF). 30 October 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  13. ^ KontraS, The Death Penalty (2006)[full citation needed]
  14. ^ a b "The Death Penalty in Indonesia". Death Penalty Worldwide. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Indonesia executes first convict in four years". Jakarta Globe. 15 March 2013. Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Indonesia steps up killing of death row prisoners". The Age. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Praktek Hukuman Mati di Indonesia" (PDF). Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS). 2007. pp. 21–22. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  18. ^ a b "The Death Penalty (Hukuman Mati)". Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS). 2013. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.[unreliable source?]
  19. ^ "Indonesia executes four drug convicts on Nusakambangan". BBC. BBC. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  20. ^ Karmini, Niniek (18 January 2015). "Indonesia executes 6 drug convicts, including 5 foreigners". Yahoo News. Associated Press. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  21. ^ "'Bali Nine' Executed". CNN. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.