Thursday, May 21, 2015

Int'l lawyers ask Widodo to scrap death sentence on Veloso | Inquirer Global Nation

See - Int'l lawyers ask Widodo to scrap death sentence on Veloso | Inquirer Global Nation

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In separate statements this month, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) also called on Indonesia to abandon death penalty as a punitive policy, saying it has been going against the global trend of abolishing this punishment.

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“We write to you today to appeal to you to definitively stop the execution of Ms. Mary Jane Veloso and to impose a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty, with a view of its abolition in the near future,” said the ICJ, an organization of “60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world” who advocate the protection and promotion of human rights and rule of law.

“Mary Jane Veloso is a victim of trafficking. Her alleged traffickers are now in custody of Philippine authorities and set to face trial under Philippine laws,” read the organization’s letter dated May 12.

The group asked Widodo to look into the human trafficking angle in Veloso’s case, invoking “Indonesia’s obligations under international law.”

“We call on you to ensure that Indonesian authorities fully and properly investigate the allegation that Ms. Veloso has been a victim of human trafficking, especially in light of information that has recently come to light in the Philippines, to prevent her revictimization and ensure protection of her human rights,” said the ICJ.

The five-page letter, signed by ICJ Secretary General Wilder Tayler, detailed information it had gathered from the Philippines about Veloso’s recruitment. In particular, it cited her lack of knowledge about the 2.6 kilos of heroin hidden in the luggage Sergio had given to her as a present for her flight to Yogyakarta.

The ICJ cited Indonesian domestic law on human trafficking, which has provided that “a victim who commits a crime under coercion by an offender of the criminal act of trafficking in persons shall not be liable to criminal charges.”

“…Indonesian authorities should proceed without delay, and in cooperation with the authorities of the Philippines, to thoroughly investigate the allegations that Mary Jane Veloso is a victim of human trafficking, and the connection between being trafficked and the crime for which she was convicted,” read the letter.

The ICJ also called on Indonesia “to accede to the overwhelming understanding globally that the death penalty is an unacceptable assault on rights and dignity.”

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It cited how the United Nations has condemned the continuous enforcement of death penalty in certain countries.

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