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One thousand lights against the death penalty: mobilisation promoted by Sant'Egidio in Indonesia to say no to executions

While the channels of international pressure seem exhausted, the Community, together with other Indonesian associations, has promoted public initiatives in different cities so that the executions planned by the government are avoided

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They spent the night in front of the palace of the President, in the heart of Jakarta, lighting thousands of candles, just outside his door. It is one of the initiatives that these days the Community of Sant'Egidio, together with other associations in Indonesia, has implemented, in a last attempt to deter the government from executing 10 people accused of drug trafficking. At the same time, demonstrations and vigils were held in different cities of the archipelago, from Maumere to Yogyakarta and Medan, in front of national monuments, in churches and universities.

 The intransigence shown by the government, even in the face of strong international pressure, does not seem to offer much hope and unfortunately those convicted have received notification that the executions will take place within a few hours. Precisely for this reason, even more the action has been multiplied to invite to a rethinking, and give voice to those members of the Indonesian public that do not share, rather reject this position incomprehensibly hard.

Many of the convicts have been in prison for over ten years. They are often poor people (as in the case of Philippine Mary Jane) "used" as couriers. Two of them started a rehabilitation program for other victims of drugs in the prison where they were detained, and the staff of prisons itself spoke in their favour, aware that humanity constitute a value. In a crowded press conference, held last Saturday in Jakarta by Sant'Egidio, along with Kontras and the other associations involved, which are significantly non-denominational - or gather Christians and Muslims - a last appeal was made to the president Jokowi. (Text of the appeal in Bahasa Indonesia)

The mobilisation continues these days all over the country: on 28 April in front of the presidential palace in Jakarta a prayer vigil will be held with the participation of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference KWI.

Prayer vigils will also be held in Medan, on 27 April at the Convent of Emmaus and on 28 with the students at Unimed University. On 28 April a vigil will also be held in Jogyakarta in the parish of Babarsari. On the same day, a demonstration in Kupang will see in the square citizens, secular and religious, to demand loudly a stop of the executions.


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