6 Nov 2008

Threats to embassies as Bali bombers await death

9:50 pm on 6 November 2008

Lawyers for the three Bali bombers awaiting execution in Indonesia say they are appealing to the country's human rights commission. They want to get access to the men before they are executed.

The three men convicted for the bombings on nightclubs in Bali on 12 October 2002, which killed 202 people, most of them foreigners, are expected to be executed within days.

Imam Samudra, Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron (Mukhlas) were sentenced to death five years ago.

Officials say the executions will be carried out by firing squad in the first two weeks of November, but no date has been announced.

Death threats

The Australian and United States embassies in Indonesia have received bomb threats as the men await execution.

A US embassy spokesman said the threats were being taken seriously and staff were working closely with police.

Police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira said the threat was sent via a telephone text message to police, as was a hoax threat received on Monday against a shopping mall in Jakarta.

Security at the US and Australian embassies has been boosted.

In Cilacap, a coastal town facing the Nusakambangan prison island off the south coast of Java, the port has been closed and barbed wire erected to keep crowds at bay.

Concerns have arisen about the possibility of revenge attacks from supporters of the bombers, whenever they are executed.

Australians have been advised to think carefully before travelling to Indonesia - 88 Australians and three New Zealanders were killed in the attacks.

Appeal rejected

A last-minute appeal by relatives of the bombers has been rejected in comments by a Supreme Court judge.

The judge, Djoko Sarwoko, said the latest appeal would have no impact on the timing of the execution.

Family members gathered in Cilacap have been refused permission to visit the three men.