Indonesian Catholics want mercy for terrorist kingpin

Light of truth

Leading Catholics in terrorism-plagued Indonesia have criticized prosecutors who demanded the death sentence for the alleged mastermind behind a deadly spate of suicide bombings and attacks against police that have left many dead.

From a moral perspective and the view of the church, the death penalty is wrong no matter what the crime is, said Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, an adviser to a presidential unit that promotes communal tolerance and understanding. “The death penalty does not provide an effective deterrent against perpetrators of these sort of crimes,” he said.

He was responding to calls on May 18 from prosecutors demanding that judges impose the death sentence on Aman Abdurahman, alleged leader of an Islamic State-linked terror group, Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), who is standing trial on terrorism charges in a Jakarta court. Abdurahman, 46, is standing trial for allegedly masterminding a series of attacks that included a February 2016 bombing in Jakarta that killed eight people and an attack in November 2017 against the Batak Society Christian Church of Oikumene in Samarinda, East Kalimantan that killed four people.

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