Bali bombers will not appeal for clemency - report

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JAKARTA, Oct 13 (Reuters) Three Indonesian militants on death row for their involvement in planning the Bali bombings five years ago said today they were ready to die and would not seek a presidential pardon.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi and Mukhlas, also known as Ali Gufron, were sentenced to death for the October 12, 2002 resort island bombings in which over 200 people died. They face execution by a firing squad after the country's top court rejected theirappeal.

''Clemency is not from Islamic law. I have been living as a Muslim and will die as a Muslim,'' state news agency Antara quoted Imam Samudra as saying after Eid al-Fitr prayers attheir prison mosque on Nusakambangan island in Central Java.

''Clemency is only proposed by guilty people and we are not among the guilty people,'' he said. ''Even were we to die right now, God willing, we will enter heaven as martyrs.'' The three men have already said in a statement read by their lawyers that they will not seek a presidential pardon and that if they are executed, their death will bring ''light to the faithful and burning hellfire for the infidels''.

Indonesia's Constitutional Court is expected to rule on October 30 on a petition challenging the legality of the death penalty which was filed by lawyers for six Australians on death row for drug trafficking in Bali.

It is not clear if a decision in favour of the petition would affect the fate of the Bali bombers.

Hundreds of activists, religious leaders and other Indonesians have signed a petition calling on the government to scrap the death penalty altogether.

''Various studies show that the death penalty has no deterrent effects,'' said a statement by the Alliance for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

Signatories includes leaders of Indonesia's main religions, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Amnesty International has also appealed to Indonesia to commute all death sentences and spare the Bali bombings trio.

''Executions can create martyrs whose memories become a rallying point for their organisations,'' Amnesty said in a statement.

The bombings in Bali and other attacks that have hit Indonesia in recent years have been blamed on the Southeast Asian Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah.

But analysts say the security threat from Jemaah Islamiah (JI) appears to have been contained.

''The threat from JI is much less than it was five years ago,'' said Sidney Jones, Southeast Asia director of the International Crisis Group think-tank. ''JI still exists as an organisation but most of its members aren't interested in bombing.'' The last big bomb attack in Indonesia was over two years ago when three Islamic militants blew themselves up in beachside restaurants in Bali, killing 20 people.

REUTERS SKB AS1325

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