TIME indonesia

Foreign Drug Smugglers in Indonesia Look Set to Face a Firing Squad Early Wednesday

Activists Call For Stop To Bali Nine Duo Executions
Cole Bennetts—Getty Images A girl holds a candle as part of an Amnesty international vigil for the Bali 9 duo, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in a last ditch effort to sway the Indonesian Government to halt the planned executions of the two on April 27, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has rejected clemency appeals

It appears that nine drug convicts, eight of them foreigners, will face a firing squad in Indonesia on Wednesday. That’s according to an Australian news report that claims a local mortician has been instructed to write the dates of death as “29.04.2015” on the crosses that will be placed on the coffins of Christian prisoners.

Indonesian media also report that nine coffins, covered in white cloth, were taken in readiness on Sunday night to the police station in the Javanese town of Cilacap, near Nusakambangan island, where the convicts are being kept and where they will be shot. The death penalties come after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo rejected pleas from foreign governments and thousands of his own citizens to halt the killings.

Indonesia gave a 72-hour execution notice to the four Nigerians, two Australians, one Filipina, one Brazilian and one Indonesian on Saturday. That time frame, and the dates being inscribed on the crosses, suggests that the executions will take place very early on Wednesday morning — perhaps just after the stroke of midnight.

A Frenchman, Serge Atlaoui, has been given a temporary reprieve pending a legal appeal, which was granted after French President François Hollande warned: “If he is executed, there will be consequences with France and Europe.”

However, no such reprieve has been granted to other inmates, who include Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Australians who were part of the Bali Nine drug-smuggling group. Their former lawyer, Mohammad Irfan, has alleged to the Sydney Morning Herald that judges asked for more than $77,000 in bribes to give the pair a lighter sentence, and he also accuses Jakarta of political interference — once again putting a spotlight on Indonesia’s judicial system, which is largely seen as corrupt.

Legal appeals are still under way for Filipina domestic helper Mary Jane Veloso and Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. His lawyers rushed to file a last-minute request for a second judicial review on Monday morning.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Nobel Peace Prize laureate (and former East Timorese President) José Ramos-Horta, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, British tycoon and adventurer Richard Branson and iconic hard-rock guitarist Tony Iommi have joined the chorus of foreign leaders, fellow celebrities, local and overseas activists and ordinary people asking that the convicts’ lives be spared.

Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, the Indonesian maid whose severe abuse at the hands of her employer in Hong Kong threw a global spotlight on the plight of female migrant workers, has asked Jokowi to pardon her fellow domestic helper Veloso, who maintains that she was tricked into smuggling drugs.

Families of the condemned have arrived on Nusakambangan to spend the last hours with their loved ones, as police and military have stepped up security in Cilacap and Nusakambangan. Chan, who was ordained as minister in the decade he spent at a Bali prison, wants to go to church with his family during his last days, said his brother Michael. As his last wish, Sukumaran, who began painting while incarcerated in Bali, has asked “to paint as long and as much as possible,” his brother Chinthu said. One of his latest self-portraits shown to journalists depicts a harrowing image of the artist shot through the heart.

Veloso’s mother, brother and former husband held a banner that said, “Save the Life of Mary Jane!” at Cilacap’s port on Monday in a desperate attempt to halt her execution. Veloso, who supporters say is a victim of human trafficking and whose plight has sparked sympathy from Indonesian citizens, told her eldest son on Saturday, “Don’t think that I died because I did something wrong. Be proud of your mother because she died owning up to the sins of others.”

Read next: Inside Indonesia’s Islamic Boarding School for Transgender People

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TIME indonesia

The Execution of Several Foreigners in Indonesia Appears Imminent

President Joko Widodo has said he will not interfere

Correction appended, April 24

In a sign that it may be preparing to put 10 mostly foreign drug offenders to death, Indonesia has asked foreign diplomats to travel Saturday to visit the maximum-security prison on the island of Nusakambangan where the inmates are being held.

According to Reuters, the legally required 72-hour notice has not been announced but a diplomat the news agency spoke with on condition of anonymity said, “We still don’t know when the actual date of the execution will happen but we expect that it will be in days.”

On Tuesday, through the state-owned news agency Antara, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the executions were “only awaiting the conclusion of all procedures and the legal process, which I will not interfere in. It is only a matter of time.”

The condemned include Australian, Brazilian, French and Nigerian nationals, as well as a Filipina maid named Mary Jane Veloso who has sparked a social-media campaign for clemency.

Also set to be executed are the two Australian ringleaders of the Bali Nine drug-smuggling group, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Repeated appeals to spare their lives have been made by the Australian government and the case has created tensions between the two countries. France also blasted the Indonesian legal system on Thursday.

According to David McRae, a senior research fellow at the Asia Institute in the University of Melbourne, who wrote an analysis paper on the subject in 2012, Jakarta is torn between domestic and international considerations. “One [stream of thought] relishes the opportunity for the government to present itself as firm in the face of international pressure,” he tells TIME. “But I think there are others who are concerned at the prospect of Indonesia’s relations with various of its important international partners becoming mired in needless rancor.”

Indonesia has severe punishments for drug offenses and has once again started implementing the death penalty after a five-year stoppage.


Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described the drug offenders. Nine are foreigners and one is Indonesian.

TIME indonesia

The Internet Is Begging the Indonesian Government to Spare a Filipina Single Mother’s Life

A protester holds a placard urging the Philippine and Indonesian government to save Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia, during a protest in front of the Indonesian embassy in Makati city
Romeo Ranoco—Reuters A protester holds a placard urging the Philippine and Indonesian governments to save Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina facing execution in Indonesia, during a protest in front of the Indonesian embassy in Manila on April 24, 2015

"Is my President a murderer?”

As the executions of 10 drug convicts loom in Indonesia, a massive social-media campaign has kicked off in support of Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipina maid set to face the firing squad.

The hashtag #MaryJane was the No. 2 trending topic on Indonesia’s Twittersphere on Friday morning, hours after Veloso was transferred to the execution island of Nusakambangan. As her family flew to the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta, where Veloso was held, Indonesians rallied to urge President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, to spare the life of the 30-year-old migrant worker.

Indonesian celebrity chef Rahung Nasution launched a tweet storm on Friday morning, detailing how Veloso ended up in an Indonesian prison and how the Indonesian government handled her case. “Jokowi is not battling drugs. He is executing poor women, like the migrant workers in Saudi Arabia!! #MaryJane,” Rahung tweeted, referring to the two Indonesian domestic workers executed in the Middle East country last week.

Dewi Candraningrum, the chief editor of feminist magazine Jurnal Perempuan (Women’s Journal), uploaded her charcoal-on-paper drawing Mary Jane and tweeted, “She is a victim of trafficking. Is my President a murderer?” The National Commission on Violence Against Women also posted a series of tweets on why the government should not execute Veloso.

One Twitter user wrote, “I agree with death penalty for drug cases, as long as it’s for big-time drug dealers, not couriers or duped victims like #MaryJane.”

Another tweeted, “Sorry for #MaryJane how is it possible for a victim of a drug dealer is sentenced to death. As if people’s life is a plaything.”

While local support for other foreign drug convicts has been muted, there is a wider sympathy toward Veloso, a single mother of two, who said she was not a drug dealer but a victim of trafficking and was duped into carrying narcotics into the country. She was initially promised a job in Malaysia, but upon arrival there, she was told her job was in Indonesia. While in Malaysia, the drugs were secretly sewn into a suitcase she was lent, her family said. She was arrested at Yogyakarta airport in April 2010 after authorities found 2.6 kg of heroin in her suitcase. She was found guilty and sentenced to death later that year.

Veloso launched her first appeal in March, questioning the competence of the translator provided to her during the trial, but it was rejected by the Indonesian Supreme Court. She was transferred from Yogyakarta’s prison to Nusakambangan execution island at 1 a.m. on Friday.

On Friday, the Philippine government filed a second appeal for judicial review on behalf of Veloso in another attempt to save her life.

TIME indonesia

U.S. Man Gets 18-Year Prison Sentence for Murdering Girlfriend’s Mother

Tommy Schaefer of Chicago, Ill., stands inside a cell before his trial at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia, April 7, 2015.
Firdia Lisnawati—AP Tommy Schaefer of Chicago stands inside a cell before his trial at Denpasar District Court in Bali, Indonesia, on April 7, 2015

An American man has been found guilty in Indonesia for murdering his girlfriend's mother

(BALI) — An Indonesian court has convicted an American man of murdering his girlfriend’s mother and sentenced him to 18 years in jail.

The Denpasar District Court ruled Tuesday that Tommy Schaefer, 21, was guilty of battering Sheila von Wiese-Mack to death in a hotel room on the resort island of Bali. Also on trial is his girlfriend Heather Mack, 19, who is charged with helping in the Aug. 12 murder.

Schaefer and Mack, both from Chicago, are being tried separately in the same court with the same judges and prosecutors.

They were arrested a day after the body of von Wiese-Mack, 62, was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort.

TIME portfolio

Inside Indonesia’s Islamic Boarding School for Transgender People

Fulvio Bugani, an Italian photographer, spent nearly three weeks living with a transgender community in Indonesia

When Shinta Ratri visits her family in Yogyakarta, the Indonesian city where she still lives, she sits outside her family’s home and waits. She hasn’t been allowed inside since she was 16, when as a young boy she told her family she identified as a girl.

Today, Shinta, 53, is one of the leading transgender activists in the country. She runs Pondok Pesantren Waria, an Islamic boarding school for Indonesia’s so-called waria, a portmanteau of the Indonesian words for woman (wanita) and man (pria). The school, in Shinta’s own home in Yogyakarta on the island of Java, provides a tight-knit community for transgender women from across the country who may face discrimination at home.

“They come to Yogyakarta just because they know about this school,” says Fulvio Bugani, an Italian photographer who spent nearly three weeks living with the waria community at the school. “They know that there they can pray and live like a woman in a good atmosphere.”

Bugani’s powerful images depict the daily lives of the school’s diverse waria community, and one of his shots was awarded third prize in the World Press Photo’s Contemporary Issues category this year.

About 10 women live at the school, according to Bugani, though the numbers fluctuate. Many of them make a living as sex workers or street performers, unable to find work in other areas, but the school offers a comfortable environment where, Bugani says, they can be themselves.

It also provides a unique place for the waria to pray. In Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, mosques are typically segregated by gender and the transgender women are reluctant to join or barred from participating in either group. But Shinta has ensured that the women can pray together at the school.

“She is very proud to be a woman and also to be a Muslim,” Bugani says. “She wants to help the other waria to become like her.”

Bugani joined Shinta on one of her semiannual visits to her family’s home and watched as she sat outside, waiting. Then, in what has become something of a ritual, her mother emerged.

“You know, a mother is always a mother,” Bugani says.

Fulvio Bugani is a freelance photographer based in Bologna, Italy.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Noah Rayman is a reporter at TIME.

TIME indonesia

A Student Got Prosecuted in Indonesia for Moaning About Her College Town

ROMEO GACAD—AFP/Getty Images A picture taken on June 27, 2009, shows an lndonesian Facebook patron looking at her page at an internet shop in Jakarta

Anything from complaints about service to criticisms of a spouse's employer can, and is, being prosecuted under Indonesia's shockingly harsh Internet defamation law

Last year, a 26-year-old Indonesian law student, angry with her experience at a petrol station in her university town, Yogyakarta (or Yogya), wrote this on the social-media site Path: “Yogya is poor, stupid and uncultured. Friends in Jakarta and Bandung, please don’t stay in Yogya.”

A few years before that, in the Indonesian city of Bandung, a mother of three had a private chat with a friend on Facebook, confiding about her then husband’s alleged domestic violence.

Those two women were later taken to court.

The student, Florence Sihombing, was found guilty on April 1 by the Yogyakarta District Court of defaming the city of Yogyakarta and given a two-month jail sentence, a $770 fine, and six months’ probation — even though she had apologized profusely to the Sultan and citizens of Yogyakarta. The mother, Wisni Yetty, 47, was found guilty of defaming her ex-husband by the Bandung District Court on the same day and given five months in prison and ordered to pay a $7,700 fine. The judge overlooked the fact that her husband had hacked into her Facebook account.

What’s even more shocking is that there is nothing exceptional about these cases or the punishments given. Scores of Indonesian netizens are landing themselves in legal trouble because of what they say online. It belies the image of Indonesia as the world’s third biggest democracy, whose citizens are not only prolific users of social media but also enjoy greater Internet freedom, especially compared with their Southeast Asian neighbors.

Communicating across social networks is everything in Indonesia. The country is the world’s biggest market for Path, fourth largest for Facebook and fifth for Twitter. It is also a huge market for messaging apps, from WhatsApp to BlackBerry Messenger.

The appetite for online discussion and debate, meanwhile, is ferocious. Long before tech venture capitalist Marc Andreessen made popular a Twitter genre known as tweetstorm, Indonesia’s Twittersphere already had kultwit, or Twitter lectures, on everything from religious doctrine to political gossip. A tweet on then presidential candidate (now President) Joko Widodo became the world’s No. 2 most recirculated tweet last year, second only to the star-studded Oscar selfie.

The Indonesian constitution guarantees freedom of expression. However, as the cases of Sihombing and Wisni attest, anyone can be punished harshly under the draconian Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE) Law for a throwaway remark online. Since the Indonesian parliament passed the legislation in 2008, more than 70 people have been reported to police, arrested, taken to court and even jailed. Last year alone, there were 44 cases prosecuted under the ITE Law, according to Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network.

Among the targets were ordinary citizens who wrote thoroughly mundane things. There was a housewife who criticized the management staff of the company where her husband once worked. A patient who complained about the service she got at a private hospital. A blogger who engaged in a Twitter war with a former lawmaker that ended in a suspended jail sentence for the blogger. An anticorruption activist accused of defaming a politician on BlackBerry Messenger, who spent 100 days in prison before he was freed by a court in South Sulawesi province. And a civil servant who faced trial because he criticized a local district head on the Line messaging app.

Critics dub the ITE legislation “rubber law” because its ambiguous wording makes it open to broad interpretation, and they warn it could be used to muzzle journalists and activists

Cases of supposed defamation — like Sihombing’s and Wisni’s — are prosecuted under Article 27 of the law. Abdullah Alamudi, senior lecturer at Dr. Soetomo Press Institute who was a member of Indonesia’s Press Council from 2007 to 2010, calls it the “ghost article” because its inclusion took many people by surprise. “That particular article was practically inserted at the eleventh hour,” he says. “Not a single member of the Press Council then, including myself, knew about it until the next day, after the bill was passed into law.”

In response to mounting criticism, Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara promises that a revision of the law is on the parliament’s agenda this year. But Alamudi is skeptical.

“People in parliament like Article 27 because it makes journalists and members of the public cautious about criticizing them,” he tells TIME, calling for the the legislation to be reviewed instead by the Constitutional Court, and pointing out that many of the cases being prosecuted are over matters of opinion.

“If people can’t express their opinion,” Alamudi says, “one day they won’t be allowed to think.”

TIME indonesia

Fishermen Rush to Be Rescued Amid Indonesian Slavery Probe

Foreign fishermen gather during an inspection by Indonesian officials in Benjina, Aru Islands, Indonesia, April 3, 2015
Dita Alangkara—AP Foreign fishermen gather during an inspection by Indonesian officials in Benjina, Aru Islands, Indonesia, April 3, 2015

Foreign fishermen from Burma and Cambodia have rushed to be rescued from Indonesia amid an ongoing slavery probe

(BENJINA, Indonesia) — Hundreds of foreign fishermen on Friday rushed at the chance to be rescued from an isolated island where an Associated Press report revealed slavery runs rampant in the industry. Indonesian officials investigating abuses offered to take them out of concern for the men’s safety.

The men, from countries including Burma and Cambodia, began getting the news as a downpour started, and some ran through the rain. They sprinted back to their boats, jumping over the rails and throwing themselves through windows. They stuffed their meager belongings into plastic bags and rushed back to the dock, not wanting to be left behind.

A small boat went from trawler to trawler picking up men who wanted to go and was soon loaded down with about 30 men.

The director general of Indonesia’s Marine Resources and Fisheries Surveillance initially told about 20 men from Burma that he would move them from Benjina village to neighboring Tual island for their safety following interviews with officials on Friday. However, as news spread that men were getting to leave the island, dozens of others started filing in from all over and sitting on the floor.

When the official, Asep Burhundun, was asked if others hiding in the jungle could come as well, he said, “They can all come. We don’t want to leave a single person behind.”

Fishermen who are Thai nationals will remain on the island. Most of the boat captains are from Thailand.

The Indonesian delegation began interviewing men on boats and assessing the situation on the island this week, and have heard of the same abuses fishermen told The Associated Press in a story published last week. They described being abused at sea, including being kicked and whipped with stingray tails and given Taser-like electric shocks. Some said they fell ill and were not given medicine; others said had been promised jobs in Thailand and then were taken to Indonesia where they were made to work long hours with little or no pay.

The delegation said security in Benjina is limited, with only two people from the Indonesian navy stationed there. Out of security concerns they decided to move the fishermen to Tual — a 12-hour boat ride away — where they will stay at a Ministry of Fisheries compound where their identities can be verified.

“I’m really happy, but I’m confused,” said Nay Hle Win, 32. “I don’t know what my future is in Burma.”

Win Win Ko, who ended up in Indonesia four years ago after leaving Burma, opened his mouth to smile and revealed four missing teeth. The 42-year-old said they were kicked out by a boat captain’s military boots because he was not moving fish fast enough from the deck to the freezer hold.

“I will go see my parents,” he said. “They haven’t heard from me, and I haven’t heard from them since I left.”

Margie Mason and Ali Kotarumalos contributed to this report from Jakarta.

TIME indonesia

Canadian Teacher in Indonesia Found Guilty in Contentious Child-Rape Trial

Indonesia Child Abuse Charges
Dita Alangkara—AP Canadian school administrator Neil Bantleman sits inside a holding cell prior to the start of his trial in Jakarta on March 12, 2015

Critics say the trial was a sham aimed at closing the school

A Canadian teacher at a prestigious international school in Indonesia was found guilty of sexual assault on Thursday, following a four-month trial that ignited both accusations of judicial malfeasance and anti-Western sentiments in the Southeast Asian nation.

Canadian school administrator Neil Bantleman from Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), formerly called Jakarta International School, faces 10 years behind bars for repeatedly raping three kindergarten-aged male students.

In the absence of physical evidence, the prosecutors largely built their case around testimony provided by the victims. However, the defendant’s legal team argue that young children were effectively forced to identify Bantleman and Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinant Tjiong as the culprits.

Prior to the pair’s arrests last summer, five of the school’s janitors were also found guilty of molesting one of the three pupils at JIS and were handed prison sentences ranging from seven to eight years in length. The group had initially admitted the charges, but later recanted and accused officials of beating them into a confession in detention. A sixth janitor tied to the incident died in custody after an apparent suicide.

Following the decision to arrest Bantleman and Tjiong, the U.S. embassy in Indonesia warned that allegations of the torture and shoddy legal work could further undermine the country’s standing. The JIS cases comes amid an international outcry over the pending execution of a group of drug traffickers, including the so-called Bali Nine duo, despite sustained pleas for clemency.

“The international community here, foreign investors, and foreign governments are all following this case and the case involving the JIS teachers very closely,” said U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O. Blake in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal. “The outcome of these cases and what it reveals about the rule of law in Indonesia will have a significant impact on Indonesia’s reputation abroad.”

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said accusations that the janitors were tortured while in custody should have been considered at greater length by the judiciary before allowing the case against Bantleman and Tjiong to commence. In addition, the defense cited significant inconsistencies with the victims’ testimony.

“It should be enough for the judges to be dismissive of the prosecution,” Harsono tells TIME. “It is another black mark for the South Jakarta court’s reputation.” In a widely criticized verdict in February, a judge at the South Jakarta court ruled that the Corruption Eradication Commission had no legal basis to name the President’s nominee for police chief as a graft suspect.

Critics of the JIS trial have also contended that the case is nothing more than a thinly disguised ploy to shut down the school’s historic campus that resides on some of the sprawling Indonesian capital’s most valuable real estate.

“The judges must consider a $125 million lawsuit filed by the mother of one of the boys as motive for dragging the teachers into this criminal case,” the defendants’ legal team said in a statement, according to the Jakarta Post.

Officials from the country’s Indonesian Children’s Protection Commission had already accused the school’s administrators of fostering an environment that led to the rapes.

During a press conference last year, the head of the commission accused JIS of impropriety by tolerating kissing in public and employing gay teachers. Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, the commission’s chairman, later added that “homosexuality in such environment could trigger sexual violence against children.”

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

TIME Singapore

Global Leaders Pay Respects After the Passing of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore Obit Lee Kuan Yew
Joseph Nair — AP A live broadcast by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the death of his father is watched in a reception area at a hospital where the city-state's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew passed away on March 23, 2015, in Singapore

The nation’s architect was lauded for being a visionary and fostering relations between Asia and the U.S.

Messages of condolence flooded in from the East and the West on Monday as the world paid tribute to Singapore’s founding father and first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, following the former strongman’s death at the age of 91.

Lee died in the early hours of Monday morning local time at Singapore General Hospital, after being treated for severe pneumonia and then an infection since his initial admission over a month ago.

The former head of government has been largely credited with fostering the environment that allowed the former British colony to transform into a flourishing bastion of international business and innovation.

“The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together, and brought us here. He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans,” said Lee’s son and serving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a televised address. “We won’t see another man like him.”

Flags were at half-mast across the city-state as Lee’s compatriots began observing a week of official mourning. A state funeral has been scheduled for March 29.

During his time as head of government, Lee was also viewed as an adroit statesman who helped foster ties and understanding between Western powers and rising nation-states across Asia.

“Minister Mentor Lee’s views and insights on Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world, and no small number of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice on governance and development,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in a statement.

Former President George H.W. Bush echoed these sentiments. “I will always be proud that Lee Kuan Yew was my friend,” he said. “I respected his effective leadership of his wonderful, resilient and innovative country in ways that lifted living standards without indulging a culture of corruption. I was also proud of the progress Singapore and the United States achieved together as partners. Because of the example set by Lee Kuan Yew’s singular leadership, let me add I am confident that the future will be bright for Singapore.”

Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson Hong Lei described Lee as the bedrock of the Sino-Singaporean relationship and a visionary on the continent.

“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is a uniquely influential statesman in Asia and a strategist boasting oriental values and international vision,” said Lei.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Lee was both a “far-sighted statesman” and “a lion among leaders.”

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia called Lee “a close friend of Indonesia and renowned as the founding father of modern Singapore.”

“As a great leader and a statesman who truly loved his people, he was also known as an influential political figure in Asia,” he added. “Under his leadership, Singapore has succeeded in transforming itself into a major economic hub for the Asian region and stands in equal footing to other developed nations of the world.”

Amid the tributes, advocacy groups also cautioned against ignoring the strongman’s authoritarianism and checkered record on human rights in the wake of his death.

“Singapore still is, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state where political opponents are targeted and contrary views muzzled — and that too is a part of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy that many of the new generation of Singaporeans are none too happy about,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

In his homeland, though, the overriding feeling was one of mourning a beloved patriarch.

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

TIME indonesia

Indonesian Judge Postpones the Final Appeal of Australian Drug Smugglers on Death Row

This combination of two file photos from Jan. 24, 2006, left, and Jan. 26, 2006 shows Australian drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan during their trial in Bali, Indonesia
Firdia Lisnawati—AP This combination of two photos from Jan. 24, 2006, left, and Jan. 26, 2006, shows Australian drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan during their trial in Bali, Indonesia

The hearing has been rescheduled to next week because of the absence of a signed document

The two ringleaders of the Bali Nine — a group of Australians convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia — had their final appeals against their death sentences adjourned until March 19 after a representative of President Joko Widodo was unable to show the court any signed document bestowing the power of attorney.

Judge Ujang Abdullah postponed Thursday’s hearing of the convicted narcotics smugglers for one week, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. This gives the duo more time to appeal to Joko for clemency.

Legal counsel for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, convicted of masterminding the trafficking of 8.3 kg of heroin in 2005, argue their pleas and rehabilitation requests have been rejected because of the President’s refusal to assess each case individually.

The pair are due to be executed by firing squad simultaneously with all other foreigners on death row for drugs offenses.

However, this means their death sentences may be delayed for weeks or even months because of a backlog of cases. The Attorney General is waiting for the decision on a judicial review for a Filipino maid convicted of smuggling, a French national arrested at an ecstasy laboratory, and investigators are scrutinizing allegations that the judges in the cases of Chan and Sukumaran’s solicited bribes in exchange for lighter terms.

[Sydney Morning Herald]

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