Indonesian police order caskets ahead of executions

Indonesian police order caskets ahead of executions
Putro, a church caretaker who has supplied coffins and helped care for bodies of executed prisoners in Nusa Kambanganin, poses with a supply of coffins in Cilacap

The Javanese Christian Church (GKJ) funeral home in Cilacap regency, Central Java, has reportedly prepared at least 10 caskets for the Cilacap Police ahead of the planned execution of death-row convicts on Nusakambangan prison island.

"They're ready as ordered," funeral home representative Suhendro told The Jakarta Post on Thursday at the church, located in the heart of Cilacap city. He added that his company usually received orders for caskets when executions were carried out on Nusakambangan.

"As in the case of the executions last month, we received five orders for caskets and we sent them immediately to Nusakambangan," said Suhendro.

He said he did not know the number of convicts due for execution. However, based on the size of the casket order, he believed that 10 people would face the firing squad this time. One of the 10 caskets was noticeably larger than the rest.

Regular caskets are 2.2 meters long, Suhendro said, "I don't know who it's for, but it's the biggest, measuring around 2.5 meters long".

The Attorney General's Office is preparing to execute death-row convicts including two members of the so-called Bali Nine drug-smuggling gang, Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo rejected their clemency requests.

Cilacap Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna confirmed that the caskets were part of the preparations for the executions.

"We're just waiting for orders from Jakarta. We have prepared everything, including security and other needs," said Ulung.

Hundreds of Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel have also been seen securing waters around Nusakambangan and at the Wijaya Pura Dock on the island for the past three days.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo, said separately on Thursday his office had yet to set the execution date as preparations were still ongoing, with several of the convicts having submitted legal challenges to their sentences.

"The executions must be prepared thoroughly, including 10 firing squads, as 10 death-row convicts will be put to death.

"It needs time and we are still coordinating with the relevant parties," Prasetyo said in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

According to him, one of the convicts who filed for a case review was suspected of suffering from severe depression and his mental health had to be examined.

"Logically, if the President has rejected clemency, there is no other legal means that they can take as they have admitted their wrongdoing and been convicted. Despite that, we will wait for the final outcome," said Prasetyo.

He added that after the legal process was completed, his office would immediately discuss technical preparations with the relevant parties, including the National Police, and then draft the execution schedule.

"The death penalty is no easy matter, it concerns people's lives, so it must be arranged meticulously," he said, reiterating that the executions would be implemented after the legal process and preparations were complete.

In another development, staff from the Bali branch of the Ombudsman's office visited Chan and Sukumaran at Kerobokan Penitentiary in Denpasar on Thursday.

Delegation head Umar Ibnu Alkhatab said programs the duo had developed in the prison had contributed to the well-being of their fellow inmates.

Umar was also shown a painting of the Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly by Sukumaran that he planned to hand over to the minister when he visited the prison for the opening of a new prison facility in April.

"He wants to deliver the painting to the minister personally," Umar told reporters after the visit.

Umar also reminded authorities not to get carried away about the executions. "Don't absorb too much of the nation's energy. There are many other things that need to be done by the military and police," he said.

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