Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:31 pm (KSA) 14:31 pm (GMT)

Islamists protest execution of Bali bombers

Protestors pledged to follow the bombers' path of jihad (holy war)
Protestors pledged to follow the bombers' path of jihad (holy war)

Islamic extremists rallied in the Indonesian capital Thursday against the imminent execution of three Bali bombers, as defense lawyers demanded the families be allowed a final visit.

Chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greater), some 100 militants descended on the offices of the national human rights body as the bombers' lawyers met officials inside to demand access for the families.

The radicals condemned the executions, believed to be hours or days away, and praised bombers Amrozi, 47, his brother Mukhlas, 48, and Imam Samudra, 38, as "holy warriors."

They carried banners pledging to follow the bombers' path of jihad or "holy war" and warning that "hell" awaits the executioners.

Defense lawyer Mahendradatta urged the human rights body, Komnas Ham, to back the families' demand for visiting rights.

Komnas Ham chairman Ifdhal Kasim said the prisoners had a right to meet their families before they faced the firing squad.

"A prisoner awaiting execution must be given a chance to meet their families," he said, promising to take up the matter with the prosecutor's office which handles executions.

Meanwhile the families wrote to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono pleading for a delay in the executions, defense lawyer Fahmi Bachmid said.

He said however that the letter was not a request for clemency. The bombers have said they want to die to become "martyrs" for their dream of creating an Islamic utopia across Southeast Asia.

"We don't know the contents of the letter. The families only told me that they hope the execution will be postponed until the president gives an answer to the letter," he said.

The bombings on the resort island of Bali in 2002 killed more than 200 people, mostly foreign tourists.

The government has said the condemned men will be executed by firing squad in "early November" after they exhausted the appeals process.

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