Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Three Christian Men Face Execution To Appease Muslims Radicals?

Tibo, Da Silva and Riwu

From WorldNet Daily:

Three Christian men in Indonesia who claim they were falsely accused of murder during attacks by radical Muslims are scheduled to be executed as early as Thursday.

A Washington, D.C.-based human rights monitor claims the cases of Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Dasilva and Marinus Riwu are being rushed to a conclusion in order to appease Muslims upset by the scheduled execution of three Islamic terrorists charged in the 2002 Bali bombing.

The Indonesian government is "sacrificing true justice to provide judicial 'balance,'" charges Jeremy Sewall, a policy analyst for International Christian Concern, or ICC.

"This is not justice," Sewall said. "This is deception, cover-up and appeasement."

Normally, said ICC, the appeal for the three men should last months or even a year.

The U.S. group points out Tibo, Riwu, and Da Silva were the only men charged in the Poso conflict.

"This is a glaring injustice and hints of massive cover-up by the Indonesian government," the group said in a statement, noting it has done its own investigation of the conflict...

"Entire Christian villages were attacked with government munitions and burned down using Indonesian government fuel trucks," ICC said. "Christian adults and children were beheaded. The Muslim community initiated the attacks and there was every indication that local Muslim government leaders were involved. Why were no Muslims ever charged in any of the attacks?"

The three men claim their convictions resulted from irregularities during their trial. They contend, for example, the judge in the case neglected to consider the testimony of 13 different witnesses – including the defendants themselves – that would have exonerated them.

A number of other witnesses – including Irwanto Hasan, who at the time was a member of the Poso Police Intelligence Division – say the men were part of a humanitarian team when they were arrested.

They came to Poso in 2000 after hearing reports a Catholic Church there had been burned, according to the British-based Christian charity Jubilee Campaign.

The men entered the conflict zone to evacuate children from a church-run school in the village of Moengko, Poso City, the group said. On the morning of May 23, 2000, a Muslim mob entered the village and set fire to the church. The defendants and the students escaped out the back door before the building burned to the ground.

A few days later, according to Hasan, Tibo and the others were recruited by the Red Group, described as a "militant Christian group." Hasan claimed the men acted to subvert the Red Group's leaders and protect various individuals – both Christian and Muslim – from violence. Hasan claimed that at one point Tibo saved his life.

Please pray for these men and that justice will be done. Pray also for the Christians still facing violence and persecution in this region of the world. For more on the ongoing persecution of believers worldwide check out the Persecution blog.

Update: It is reported that the three were executed early Friday morning in spite of intense lobbying on their behalf including by Pope Benedict.

    No comments: