Drug Offences, the Death Penalty, and Indonesia's Human Rights Obligations in the Case of the Bali 9: Opinion Submitted to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia
70 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2007
Date Written: June 28, 2007
In 2005 a number of Australian citizens (known as the "Bali 9") were convicted of offences under the Narcotics Law of Indonesia in relation to their participation in a drug smuggling operation that was intended to transport a large amount of heroin from Bali to Australia. At first instance they were sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment, but on appeal a number of them had their sentence increased to death. Three of those sentenced to death on appeal lodged petitions with the Constitutional Court of Indonesia arguing that the imposition of the death penalty was a violation of the Indonesian Constitution, as well as of Indonesia's obligations under international human rights treaties. This expert opinion was submitted to the court and addresses two issues of international human rights law which were before the Court: (1) whether the restriction contained in article 51 of the Law on the Constitutional Court of access to the Court to Indonesian citizens only is a violation of Indonesia's international obligations; and (2) whether the imposition of the death penalty in relation to drug offences is a violation of Indonesia's obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Keywords: Human rights, right to life, arbitrary deprivation of life, death penalty, equality, access to court by foreigners, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Indonesia, Constitutional Court of Indonesia
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