Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Sunday, 9 November 2008

Relatives deplore Bali executions

From left to right: Ali Ghufron, Imam Samudra and Amrozi Nurhasyim during the Eid al-Fitr prayer at Batu prison on 1 October 2008
The bombers said they were keen to be "martyrs"

Relatives of victims of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings have said justice was not done by the execution of three men for the crime.

Susanna Miller, whose brother Dan was killed in the attacks, said the execution transformed the men into martyrs, making "a mockery of justice."

Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron (Mukhlas) were shot at 0015 (1715 GMT on Saturday), officials said.

They were convicted of planning attacks on nightclubs in the resort of Kuta.

'Mockery of justice'

Ms Miller, who is a member of the Bali Bombings Victims' Group, said: "Justice is supposed to have two strands to it. One is to pay recompense for the crime committed and the other is a deterrent.

"If you undermine the deterrent by effectively encouraging, allowing these people to be seen as martyrs and encouraging the Islamist cause, then no it makes a mockery of justice."

She told the BBC: "Can we be clear? They didn't kill my brother... They were secondary to the bombing plot and the most important person in relation to the plot is currently held in Guantanamo Bay."

The executions of the Bali bombers may create martyrs whose memory risks increasing support and recruitment to their cause
Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International

Ms Miller pointed out that the only member of the IRA commonly remembered in England is Bobby Sands, who killed himself by hunger strike.

Tobias Ellwood MP, who lost his brother Jonathan, 37, in the attacks, said there were still questions that needed to be answered before he could put the memory of his brother to rest.

Firstly, he said. there had been no explanation as to why Hambali, the attacks' mastermind, who is currently held at Guantanamo Bay, had not been brought to trial.

Secondly, it was unacceptable that no British citizens affected by the attack had been paid compensation by the UK government, despite the fact that compensation was given to victims of the 7/7 attacks in London - he went on.

'Horrific atrocity'

And thirdly, Mr Ellwood said that despite MI5 intelligence ahead of the bombings, the threat level for Bali was not changed.

"The threat level to British citizens should have been raised to 'high'... Failure to update the threat level meant many travel plans, including my brother's, went unchanged," Mr Ellwood said.

Amnesty International condemned the executions.

Sam Zarifi, the organisation's Asia-Pacific director, said: "The Bali Bombers perpetrated a horrific atrocity but to continue to cycle of violence through state sanctioned killings is to answer the violation of human rights with further violations."

He said Amnesty recognised the need to bring criminals to justice, but that it was not clear that capital punishment was an effective deterrent.

Reprisal concerns

Mr Zarifi added that in fact: "The executions of the Bali bombers may create martyrs whose memory risks increasing support and recruitment to their cause."

The three men were shot at the island prison of Nusakambangan, officials said.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson, in Cilacap, near the prison, says the execution took place in the darkness surrounded by forest and with a handful of witnesses.

Later, a spokesman for the attorney-general's office confirmed that the three men had been shot.

Security forces are on alert across the country amid fears of reprisal attacks.

But according to our correspondent, the deaths will not evoke much sympathy in Indonesia, where most people supported the sentence and believed the executions should have been carried out much sooner.



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