Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bali bombers buried amid protests

Clashes in Tenggulun, Samudra's funeral in Serang and the self-proclaimed 'martyrs'

Tensions are high following the execution of three men convicted for the 2002 terrorist attack in Bali. There are already reports of clashes in the home town of the men as hundreds of their supporters attended the funerals in Java. There are also fears of terrorist reprisals following the execution. Earlier many British relatives of the bombing victims had expressed regret that the men had been put to death [BBC / Sky News]. Susanna Miller, whose brother Dan was killed in the attacks, said the execution transformed the men into martyrs. She said the execution made "a mockery of justice." Miller, who is a member of the Bali Bombings Victims Group, told the BBC, "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. Can we be clear? They didn't kill my brother... They were secondary to the bombing plot and the most important person in relation to the plot is currently held in Guantanamo Bay."
Tobias Ellwood MP, who lost his brother Jonathan, 37, in the attacks has said many questions remained unanswered. The British MP said there had been no explanation as to why Hambali, the suspected mastermind behind the attacks and currently held at Guantanamo Bay, had not been brought to trial. He also criticised the British government for not having offered compensation to the families of those affected by the bombings. He also condemned British authorities for not warning of the attacks despite MI5 intelligence that showed the increased threat. "The threat level to British citizens should have been raised to 'high'... Failure to update the threat level meant many travel plans, including my brother's, went unchanged," Mr Ellwood said. The execution is also seen by some as a disposal of potential intelligence sources since dead men can't talk.
But not all were happy at the delays in executing of the men, which had been held up with appeals. Survivor and Coogee Dolphins player Erik de Haart lamented last week saying, "It's been going on for six years. The only people who have got excited about this are the press. Most of us have been in this situation for a long time now. We're saying 'Just don't tell us when these bastards are going, just let us know when they have gone'." Terrorist experts had also urged the Indonesian government to carry out the death penalty so as not to look weak in the face of terrorist threats. As Imam Samudra’s coffin was carried through Serang, a small town in west Java, supporters shouted “God is great” and called them holy warriors. Clashes were reported between supporters and security forces in Tenggulun in east Java as the bodies of Amrozi bin Nurhashyim and his brother Mukhlas, also known as Ali Gufron, were carried through the town [CNN].

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