Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Indonesia. Although the death penalty is enforced only sometimes in grave cases of premeditated murder, it is regularly applied to some drug traffickers. Executions are carried out by firing squad.


Though the death penalty existed as a punishment from the inception of the Republic of Indonesia, the first judicial execution did not take place until 1973.[1]

The Indonesian government does not issue detailed statistics about every person facing the death penalty in the country. In fact, "the search for precise figures is hampered by prevailing state secrecy over the death penalty."[2] It is believed, however, that there are around 130 people, Indonesians and foreign nationals, currently sentenced to die in Indonesia. About ten new death sentences are handed down annually, though executions are infrequent. Many of the prisoners awaiting execution have been waiting for ten years or more. Four executions took place in 2011, the first since 2008. In 2014, no executions took place. In January 2015, six people (among them one Dutchman, one Brazilian, one Vietnamese, one Malawian and Nigerian) were shot for drug-related crimes.[3] In April 2015, another eight men, including several Nigerian nationals, one Brazilian and two Australian citizens were executed, also for drug trafficking.[4][5] There were no executions in 2017 and 2018 and none have been scheduled for 2019, possibly as a result of intense and widespread international criticism the Indonesian government had to face for carrying out the last executions. President Jokowi has since stated that he is now open to reintroducing an official moratorium on the death penalty.[6] Indonesia is well-noted as "a strong advocate against the death penalty for its citizens abroad."[7]

In 2008, the three Bali bombers were executed. [8]

Legal process

Use of Execution by Firing Squad

Prisoners spend often a long time in prison before their sentence is finally carried out. Usually their final appeal has been exhausted through the trial court, two appellate courts, and consideration of clemency by the President.

Prisoners executed by firing squad, as mandated by Law No. 2/PNPS/1964. The law applied for civilian and military execution.

Prisoners are woken up in the middle of the night and taken to a remote (and undisclosed) location and executed by firing squad. The method has not changed since 1964.[9][10]

The prisoner states their final request which the prosecutor may grant when deemed feasible and do not obstruct the execution process.[11]

The blindfolded prisoner is led to a grassy area where they have an option to sit or stand.[9] The firing squad is composed of 12 soldiers, who shoot at the prisoner from a range of five to ten metres, aiming at the heart.[9] Only three fire live bullets and the rest fire blanks.[9] If the prisoner survives the shot, the commander is required to shoot the prisoner in the brain with his own weapon.[12] The procedure is repeated until a doctor confirms no signs of life remain.[11]

Historical Use of Hanging

Despite Indonesia using Law No. 2/PNPS/1964 that mandated execution by firing squad, Article No. 11 of Indonesia Criminal Code however, still that mandated execution must be performed by hanging and the part remain written in the code until this present day. This part is piece of law of colonial era, as Indonesian Criminal Code inherited from Dutch East Indies Criminal Code, but the article already superseded by Law No. 2/PNPS/1964 in practice.[13] During Dutch colonial era, execution performed by public hanging at town park and quite barbaric in nature, because the hanging performed by short drop hanging, in which 3 executioners played their role in the death of the condemned prisoner, one for opening trap door, one for pulling the leg, and another one for pushing the prisoner's shoulder below, so the condemned prisoner death hastened. The hanging also often not employed hood, as recorded by Dutch chronicler Justus van Maurik which recorded the execution scenes in his 1897 book "Indrukken van een “Totok,” Indische type en schetsen". One condemned prisoner, even experienced "horrific facial changes, bulged eyes, extremely protruding tongue, and blood discharge from body orifices" during this kind of hanging as recorded by him.[14] Since the 1915 revision (Staatsblad 1915 No. 732), the latest revision of Dutch East Indies Criminal Code, the hanging using long drop method instead of short drop.[13] The effect, however, only applied to the criminals sentenced after 1918.[15] After the independence of Indonesia, the Dutch East Indies Criminal Code turned into Indonesian Criminal Code by passage of Law No. 1/1946 (Regulations of Criminal Laws), with many changes of irrelevant aspects of the former Dutch East Indies to Indonesia. However, the hanging part still retained and enshrined at the Article No. 11 of both the former Dutch East Indies Criminal Code and the later Indonesia Criminal Code.

The hanging later replaced after Indonesia fell into Japanese Occupation Forces during World War II. The Japanese Occupation Forces government issued Osamu Gunrei No. 1/1942 (Punishments in Accordance of the Law of the Armies) on 2 March 1942, which mandated that executions throughout Indonesia be performed by means of shooting.[13] During the turbulence of the Indonesian National Revolution which resulted into divided territorial control of Indonesia between Netherlands-controlled and Indonesian controlled areas, the execution process divided also. In areas controlled with Netherlands occupation forces, the Netherlands Indies Civil Administration issued Staatsblad 1945 No. 123 (On Capital Punishment), which mandated execution with fire squad to condemned criminals, while in Indonesia-controlled areas used hanging to execute the condemned criminals. After the recognition of Indonesian independence, the criminal code still split into two between the Indonesian-controlled areas and areas formerly controlled NICA until 1958. Due to this, on 20 September 1958, the Indonesia Government issued Law No. 73/1958, to impose Law No. 1/1946 to all Indonesia, and since then Indonesia using hanging. The use of hanging retained from 1958 to 1964.[16] On 27 April 1964, Law No. 2/PNPS/1964 issued to replace hanging with execution by firing squad. Although the Article No. 11 of Indonesia Criminal Code no longer used since 1964 to present time,[13] the article however used to very extraordinary cases. The last known recorded hangings was applied to the Komando Jihad ringleaders, Imran bin Muhammad Zein, Salman Hafidz, and Maman Kusmayadi for their involvements in Cicendo incident [id] and subsequent Garuda Indonesia Flight 206 Hijacking, firsts of jihadism-motivated terrorism acts in Indonesia. They were sentenced under very harsh anti-subversion law Law No. 11/PNPS/1963 (On Eradication of Subversive Activities) in 1981 and sent to gallows. With this law, Imran was executed in late 1983, Salman in early February 1985, and finally Maman in 12 September 1986. All of them executed at classified government facility somewhere at the foot of Tangkuban Perahu, West Java.[17][18][19] The Law No.11/PNPS/1963 was notable as one of harshest laws ever made in Indonesia, as it ignored Lex posteriori derogate legi priori and Lex specialis derogat legi generali doctrines to any subversive activities and any activities deemed to be threatening the ruling government (written explicitly in Article No. 19, Law No. 11/PNPS/1963) and enabling the government to impose the harshest possible punishments for said activities (Article No. 13, Law No. 11/PNPS/1963), enabling hanging to be applied for criminals convicted in subversion acts. The Law No. 11/PNPS/1963 itself repealed by Law No. 26/1999 on 19 May 1999, 13 years after the last hanging.


In 2007, the Indonesian Constitutional Court (Mahkamah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia) upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty for drug cases, by a vote of six to three.[20] The case was brought by prisoners sentenced to death for drug crimes, including some of the Bali Nine, a group of Australian citizens sentenced to prison and the death penalty for drug trafficking in Bali in 2005.

Statutory provisions

The following is a list of the criminal offences that carry the death penalty in Indonesia:[21][15][22]

Criminal offences punishable by death based on Indonesia Criminal Code

Indonesia Criminal Code (Indonesian: Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana) is Law No. 1/1946, and amended several times by: (1) Law No. 8/1951, (2) Law No. 73/1958, (3) Law No. 1/1960, (4) Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 16/1960, (5) Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 18/1960, (6) Law No. 8/1961, (7) Law No. 7/1974, (8) Law No. 4/1976, and (9) Law No. 27/1999. In the code, criminal offences can be punishable by death are:

Criminal offences punishable by death based on Laws aside to Indonesia Criminal Code

Following criminal offences are not regulated in Indonesia Criminal Code, but in other laws. Violation of these criminal offences resulted in punishment by death.

Offences punishable by death based on Indonesia Military Criminal Code

Indonesia Military Criminal Code (Indonesian: Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana Militer) is Staatsblad 1934 No. 167, and revised and amended several times with (1) Law No. 39/1947, (2) Law No. 5/1950, and (3) Law No. 31/1997. It listed several offences that punishable by death. The offences are:

Criminal offences formerly punishable by death

Execution statistics

The first execution in Indonesia was in 1973.

In 2004, an Indian national was executed in Sumatra. [25]

Indonesia ended a four-year moratorium on the death penalty with the execution of Adami Wilson, a citizen of Malawi, on 14 March 2013.[26]

On 17 May 2013, three more prisoners were executed at Nusa Kambangan Prison on an island off the coast of Java. All three were sentenced to die for murder. Suryadi Swabuana was convicted of the premeditated murder of a family in Sumatera in 1991; Jurit bin Abdullah and Ibrahim bin Ujang were convicted of a joint murder in Sekayu, South Sumatra, in 2003.[27]

Executions in Indonesia during and after Suharto era:[28][29][30]

Year Convict Age (Gender) Nationality Crime Location
2016 Freddy Budiman 39 (♂) Indonesia Drug trafficking Surabaya
Seck Osmane 38 (♂) Senegal/Nigeria Drug trafficking
Humphrey Jefferson Ejike (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Michael Titus Igweh (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
2015 Ang Kiem Soei (♂) Netherlands Drug trafficking Tangerang
Marco Archer 53 (♂) Brazil Drug trafficking Jakarta
Daniel Enemuo 38 (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Namaona Denis 48 (♂) Malawi Drug trafficking
Rani Andriani 38 (♀) Indonesia Drug trafficking Tangerang
Tran Bich Hanh[31] (♀) Vietnam Drug trafficking
Martin Anderson (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Raheem Agbaje Salaami (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Okwudili Oyatanze (♂) Nigeria Drug trafficking
Zainal Abidin (♂) Indonesia Drug trafficking
Rodrigo Gularte 42 (♂) Brazil Drug trafficking
Andrew Chan 31 (♂) Australia Drug trafficking Bali
Myuran Sukumaran[32] 34 (♂) Australia Drug trafficking Bali
2013 Ademi (or Adami or Adam) Wilson alias Abu (♂) Malawi Drug trafficking
Suryadi Swabuana (♂) Indonesia Murder
Jurit bin Abdullah (♂) Indonesia Murder
Ibrahim bin Ujang (♂) Indonesia Murder
2008 Amrozi bin Nurhasyim (♂) Indonesia Terrorism Bali
Imam Samudra (♂) Indonesia Terrorism Bali
Huda bin Abdul Haq alias Mukhlas (♂) Indonesia Terrorism Bali
Rio Alex Bulo alias Rio Martil (♂) Indonesia Murder
Tubagus Yusuf Maulana alias Usep (♂) Indonesia Murder
Sumiarsih (♀) Indonesia Murder
Sugeng (♂) Indonesia Murder
Ahmad Suradji (♂) Indonesia Murder
Samuel Iwuchukuwu Okoye (♂) Nigeria Narcotics
Hansen Anthony Nwaliosa (♂) Nigeria Narcotics
Ayub Bulubili (♂) Indonesia Murder
2006 Fabianus Tibo (♂) Indonesia Riot Poso
Marinus Riwu (♂) Indonesia Riot
Dominggus da Silva (♂) Indonesia Riot
2005 Astini Sumiasih (♀) Indonesia Murder
Turmudi (♂) Indonesia Murder
2004 Ayodhya Prasad Chaubey (♂) India Drug trafficking North Sumatra
Saelow Prasert (♂) Thailand Drug trafficking North Sumatra
Namsong Sirilak (♀) Thailand Drug trafficking North Sumatra
2001 Gerson Pande (♂) Indonesia Murder East Nusa Tenggara
Fredrik Soru (♂) Indonesia Murder East Nusa Tenggara
Dance Soru (♂) Indonesia Murder East Nusa Tenggara
Adi Saputra (♂) Indonesia Murder Bali
1995 Chan Tian Chong Indonesia Narcotics
Karta Cahyadi (♂) Indonesia Murder Central Java
Kacong Laranu (♂) Indonesia Murder Central Sulawesi
Sergeant Adi Saputro (♂) Indonesia Murder
Azhar bin Muhammad (♂) Indonesia Terrorism
1990 Satar Suryanto (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Yohannes Surono (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Simon Petrus Soleiman (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Noor alias Norbertus Rohayan (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
1989 Tohong Harahap (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Mochtar Effendi Sirait (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
1988 Abdullah Umar (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, Islamist activist)
Bambang Sispoyo (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, Islamist activist)
Sukarjo (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
Giyadi Wignyosuharjo (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)
1987 Liong Wie Tong alias Lazarus (♂) Indonesia Murder
Tan Tiang Tjoen (♂) Indonesia Murder
Sukarman (♂) Indonesia Subversion (politics, 1965 case)

Foreign nationals

The people on death row include foreign nationals, all but one of whom were convicted of drug-related offences. These foreign inmates come from 18 different countries: Australia, Brazil, Mainland China, France, Ghana, India, Iran, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.[29][failed verification]


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