Stories of death penalty in Indonesia.
I’m currently working on a personal project titled “Silent Witness, stories of unfair trials and the death penalty in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of 25 countries in the world that still impose death penalty and the death penalty has been a part of Indonesia’s legal system since before the country’s independence in 1945.
I started this project in 2016 when I met a death-row prisoner, Yusman Telaumbanua from Nias Island, Sumatera. He was convinced and sentenced to death for the murder of three men in April 2013. Yusman was only 16 when he was arrested and he had been tortured into ‘confession’ by police, who also allegedly fabricated his age. With a help from Legal Aid Institute, they found out that Yusman is innocent and Indonesian authorities released him just a few weeks before the execution.
Yusman is only a few cases that I found among several death-row inmates. I have made a visit to several prisons in Jakarta and East Java, but this project needs more trips as my photograph consist of images that includes who are on the death row, prison in Nusakambangan Island where they are going to executed, the inmates’ family and I also photograph the crime scenes.
Mistakes can and have been made. And, in maintaining the death sentence, innocent people will be killed.