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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Bali bombing: Has justice been done?
The last of the main suspects tried in connection with last year's Bali attacks has been sentenced to death.

Mukhlas, also known as Ali Gufron, was described by prosecutors as the co-ordinator of the nightclub bombings which killed 202 people.

The Indonesian court judges said the charges against him were "legally and convincingly proven", and he deserved the maximum sentence of death by firing squad.

Do you see the verdict as justice? Will it make you feel safer? Send us your comments.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

The hypocrisy of the Australians digusts me. These first world citizens are always moaning on about human rights, and refuse to execute even the most repugnant of their own folk, such as the bodies in barrels killers, for example. As soon as the perpetrators are Muslims, foreigners etc, the death sentence suddenly becomes quite fitting, it seems.
Another thing which troubles me immensly is the conduct of the Indonesian government and courts system. These men have been sentenced to death according to an anti-terrorism law passed after the fact - a peculiar circumstance I would think, even as a legal layperson. The types of reasoning used to justify these death sentences worries me and makes me wonder where we're all heading. This is not to say however, that I could ever condone what these men did - let's just not be hypocritical about how we deal with it.
M. Dwyer, NL

They are men with strong principle but unfortunately committing serious crime against humanity. The death sentence is fair.
Kamarudin, Malaysia

The Death Penalty has two advantages. One, it prevents 'fanatics' such as these from carrying out their crimes again and two it serves as a warning to others who may try and emulate them. What the anti DP brigade can't get a grip on is these people are prepared to die killing you but you are not prepared to kill them to defend yourself. This is what gives them the idea they can beat you because you are weak.
john, France

Death of an individual does not kill the ideal. The reasoning here is that the ideal of the individual that caused this human catastrophe is unjust. If so, we must kill the ideal. And how on earth does one kill an ideal?
John, Canada

It does nothing to serve justice
John, Canada
The death sentence is the only solution but it does nothing to serve justice. The destruction is done and nothing can undo it. The death penalty may deter others from doing similar things, but 9-11 has shown that some terrorists don't even care about themselves dying let alone others.
John, Canada

Unfortunately killing them will make them make them the martyrs they desire to be. I say let them live in prison and rot away.
Dain, USA

Quite a few of the perpetrators wanted to be executed. So how is giving them what they want doing a service to justice?
Chris W, UK

Their deaths won't make us safer but why should they be able to continue to live?
Carol Brown, Australia
The death penalty for the Bali bombers is the only option. Nobody should be allowed to live who can so maliciously inflict such terrible death and suffering on another human being. Their deaths won't make us safer but why should they be able to continue to live when they have taken the lives of so many innocent people? They will only be martyrs in the eyes of the stupidly ignorant. These criminals have no fear of death because they think they have murdered with Allah's blessing but when they take their last breath on this earth they will realise that all they were just cold blooded soulless murderers.
Carol Brown, Australia

Justice? How can the death of one killer be justice? Justice would be having Mr. Gufron surrounded by pictures of all of the loved one of the dead. Let him truly begin to see the harm he has caused the families of the victims. He should be forced to live an entire lifetime with the knowledge that there are no gods which condone this senseless murder.
Doug Fisher, USA

It is of no benefit to anyone to execute people who do these things. It might be possible that a petty criminal, who knows he will be executed if he commits a capital offence, will refrain from doing so on that basis. However, people carrying out international terrorism like this are not likely to be deterred, as they are so far above the laws of any country they are in that to them, the possibility of being executed is nothing more than a minor occupational hazard.
Graeme Phillips, Germany/UK

The death penalty was appropriate because these murderers have made it obvious they would kill again if given the chance
Jim, NJ, USA
The death penalty was appropriate because these murderers have made it obvious they would kill again if given the chance. They have no respect for human life and therefore deserve no respect themselves.I don't see how locking someone up for life with no chance of parole is any less cruel than killing him anyway.
Jim, NJ, USA

I feel very sad because the root cause of the problem has not been addressed.
Ashri, Malaysia

Praise to the Indonesian Justice system for having given the maximum and appropriate sentence for this crime. To me it shows they can separate religion from law and, for a country with a majority of Muslims, I think this is a great step forward.
Victor D., Thailand

Justice has been done but I cannot help feeling that there are others involved too. Indonesia must continue to look for more suspected terrorists.
Ron, Australia

The penalty under Shariah Law for this type of crime is death, so he and the others shouldn't complain
Mohamed Abdullah, Singapore
The penalty under Shariah Law for this type of crime is death, so he and the others shouldn't complain. Let's wait and see how long it takes to actually execute them - the appeal process could take years !!
Mohamed Abdullah, Singapore

Isn't it interesting that Indonesia, a country subjected to US criticism for not confronting terrorist problems, seems to have reached a conclusion of sorts whereas the US leadership has only aggravated Muslims throughout the world and Osama and Saddam are still at large?
Munsel bin Ali, Malaysia

It is about time that actual motives behind such acts are investigated and resolved. Till this is done, more gruesome acts will be carried out and pawns sacrificed to render solace to the families of the ones affected.
Ali Asghar Shabbir, Lahore, Pakistan

Would executing them be any more useful?
Steve Politowicz, USA
What a useless sort of madness that bombing was. Would executing them be any more useful? I lost a number of acquaintances in the bombing of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and somehow the "eye for an eye" approach leaves me feeling empty.
Steve Politowicz, USA

Justice will only be done when the perpetrators of this hideous crime are executed.
Joe Smith, Hong Kong

Death by firing squad was too good for them. It doesn't make me feel any different though, because they seem to relish the death penalty a little too much for it to have any deterrent value for any others to change their minds about committing such acts. At least it takes them out of the system permanently.
Jonathan, UK

I'm not entirely sure justice has been done. Having travelled Indonesia before the attacks, I felt definite anti-western sentiment, particularly from younger people. Even though the accused have been sentenced to death or life-long imprisonment, I would most definitely think twice about going back to Indonesia. I was in Kuta for a week or so not long before the attacks and feel extremely lucky to have chosen the right time to go. Until we begin to educate all of our children to tolerate people from different cultures, the world is not going to change.
Lorna, UK

Keeping these people alive only serves to make a living martyr where hostages will be taken to secure their release
John, France
It's natural justice. Keeping these people alive only serves to make a living martyr where hostages will be taken to secure their release. The very fact that the people who write here don't approve of the death penalty is taken as weakness by the people who commit these atrocities
John, France

His death penalty will insure that he will never do this type of vicious crime against humanity again. It is a proper sentence.
Don Schirmer, USA

Nothing will bring those people back- but those responsible will never again murder any one. I know when they die- justice will be served, but by a much higher power-God.
Gail, USA

The world united in defeating Fascism. It can do the same against terrorism
Igonikon Jack, US
Justice has been served under Indonesian law. But, the world is still unsafe until common sense prevails in the civilized world--a world where innocent people should live freely without fear and threat of indiscriminate act of terror. The world united in defeating Nazism and Fascism. It can do the same against terrorism.
Igonikon Jack, US

All this will do is to make this heinous person a martyr, an example for other extremists to follow. A lifetime incarceration would have dimmed his name from memory.
Helen, Wales, UK

Punishing terrorism with state-sponsored murder doesn't seem right somehow.
Huw Davies, Wales, UK

Despite the crime, the punishment is wrong. I am opposed to the death penalty and his death makes him a martyr. A life sentence, a proper life sentence to death, is in order and if possible he should be extradited to Australia for the duration in an Australian prison.
Jonathan D,

I think the verdicts are as fair as they can be
Bob, UK
I think the verdicts are as fair as they can be. I think "Justice" is hard to define when many are affected.
Bob, UK

The death penalty is ALWAYS wrong. And in this case it will only create a new martyr. Fighting violence with violence always generates new violence.
Jan, Belgium

I don't think any sentence passed on the culprits of this atrocity can truly compensate for the loss of loved ones. And I doubt that people going to such lengths, especially suicide bombers, will ever be deterred by such punishment. We really need to stop wasting resources on the pointless bombing of countries and start investing in eliminating the root causes that drive people to such madness.
Aejaz, UK

The death sentences is not going to bring our lost love ones back
Surya , Australia
The death sentences is not going to bring our lost love ones back but it has at least brought some relief. They have been punished for their crime against humanities. Surya , Australia

We simply don't have the right to kill someone - no matter what they have done. It's just not our call.
Matt Thornton, Netherlands

Mukhlas' passing will not make anyone safer. He is a foot soldier who has probably already been replaced. The victims' families, friends, and loved ones can best decide whether justice has been served, but it seems that if terrorists welcome death as martyrdom, it might make more sense to imprison them for their natural lives. The wisdom that should come with age might eventually reveal to them the sheer horror of their acts, and such a weight of responsibility will be a more devastating burden than a quick death by firing squad.
Chris, US




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SEE ALSO:
Death penalty for Bali bomber
02 Oct 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Jemaah Islamiah still a threat
15 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Bombed Bali bar reborn
08 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Spotlight on Indonesia's Islamic schools
01 Sep 03  |  Asia-Pacific


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