Indonesia sentenced six terrorists to death for 2018 prison riot
Affected Countries: indonesia;
An Indonesian court has sentenced six terrorists to death for their role in a 2018 prison riot in which five police officers were brutally killed and one inmate shot dead.
The six defendants – Wawan Kurniawan, 45, Syawaludin Pakpahan, 46, Anang Rahman, 55, Handoko, 36, Suyanto, 44, and Suparman, 38 – were sentenced in an online session by the East Jakarta District Court on Wednesday evening. The men are all linked to pro-Islamic State
(Isis) militant groups.
“All six men have been sentenced to death,” said Faris, a lawyer for one of the convicted men.
All six were found guilty of planning and carrying out a riot at the prison run by the police Mobile Brigade in Depok, south of Jakarta, on May 8, 2018. Isis later claimed its fighters were behind the fight with police in the prison.
The riot lasted some 36 hours and involved more than 150 prisoners.
Prosecutors said the defendants started meeting in January 2018 to plan “a terrorist attack” in the prison where they were being detained or serving sentences for terrorism
-related offenses. They discussed making crude weapons including sharpened steel shivs.
The charges against the six men revealed extreme brutality in the killing of police officer Yudi Rospuji and his fellow four officers.
Rospuji was stabbed in the chest and the head with a steel shiv. When this did not kill him, his attackers grabbed him by the hair and slit his neck with a knife several times.
They then stomped on him, fired one bullet at him and stabbed him in the face.
Four other police officers were also tortured and killed by the convicted men.
The six men started the riot following a quarrel between a guard and an inmate over food.
Mohamad Adhe Bhakti, executive director of the Centre for Radicalism and Deradicalisation Studies (Pakar), said that monitoring of social media showed militant groups welcomed the death verdict of the six men with “joy and praise”.
“There are even those militants who pray [the six men] will soon die. In their view, this death sentence fulfils the [the six men’s] ambition – to die as martyrs,” said Adhe.
Iwa Maulana, a researcher at the Centre for Detention Studies in Jakarta, warned the verdict could trigger revenge attacks from Isis sympathisers.
“Authorities need to tighten up security for all law enforcement agencies,” said Iwa
Iwa said militant groups had previously carried out attacks in response to the arrest of terror suspects and the danger of this was magnified when death sentences were involved.
Last month, a newly-wed couple carried out a suicide bombing at a church in Makassar, south Sulawesi, to avenge the arrests of members of the Isis-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) militant group.
“But it is difficult to predict revenge attacks as pro-Isis groups now tend to operate as lone wolves or a single cell,” said Iwa.
Adhe at Pakar said the prison riot had awoken JAD sleeper cells, with tens of militants making their way to the prison to “aid their brothers”.
Five days later, a series of terror attacks took place in Surabaya, East Java, over a two-day period in which three churches were bombed and the Surabaya police headquarters attacked by a family of suicide bombers.
“[The prison riot] accelerated the terror attacks,” said Adhe.