Thursday, September 21, 2006

Condemned Men Denied Confession and Eucharist

From Catholic World News
Authorities in Indonesia denied three Catholic men the right to attend Mass on the day before their execution, which was carried out on just after midnight on September 22, the AsiaNews service reports.

Fabianus Tibo, Marinus Riwu and Dominggus da Silva were scheduled to face a firing squad on early in the morning of September 21, but their execution was postponed for a day, without any official explanation. Prison officials refused to allow a priest to hear the men's confessions and celebrate Mass for them one last time on Thursday.

The officials' decision - along with an accompanying decision that the bodies of the three men cannot lie in state in the Paul cathedral - appears to violate Indonesian law, which stipulates that a prisoner's last wishes should be granted before execution.

On Thursday, human-rights groups were continuing their last-minute efforts to obtain clemency for the three men, who were convicted of organizing a massacre of Muslims during the religious fighting in the Sulawesi province in 2000. Their conviction came after a trial marked by many irregularities, with Islamic militants putting heavy pressure on the court. No Muslim has ever been convicted in connection with the religious warfare in Sulawesi.

The condemned men consistently claimed innocence of the crimes of which they were accused. My understanding of the situation is that their trial was pretty much a railroading. In any case, the denial of religious comfort is unconscionable.

In light of the worldwide outcry against the USA holding Jihadist prisoners in Gitmo, where they get special diets, Korans, and prayer rugs, I am waiting for the universal condemnation of the Indonesian government for this barbarism. And waiting…and waiting…

Does anyone even remember how to spell “hypocrisy” anymore?