Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An Indonesian court has sentenced three Muslim militants to jail for beheading three Christian schoolgirls in Central Sulawesi in 2005

BBC News:

Hasanuddin, 34, was given 20 years for planning the attack, while two accomplices were given 14 years.

Hasanuddin had earlier told the court he helped plan the attack but rejected allegations he masterminded it.

The beheading of the girls, attacked as they walked to school in Poso in 2005, drew international condemnation.

It also fanned tensions in Sulawesi, where Muslim-Christian violence has continued despite a 2002 peace deal.

Hasanuddin's denial was rejected by chief judge Binsar Siregar, who said: "The accused was proven to plan and move other people to carry out terror acts."

The court in Jakarta was also told that Hasanuddin had left a message next to the severed heads of the girls, saying: "A life for a life. A head for a head".

A separate court sentenced defendants Irwanto Irano and Lilik Purwanto to 14 years each.

Speaking before his sentencing, Hasanuddin said going to jail did not concern him.

"It's not a problem (if I am being sentenced to prison) because this is a part of our struggle. What will become a problem is if our brothers decide to get revenge," he said.

The three girls were attacked as they walked to the private Christian school near their home in Poso. One of their heads was discovered outside a church.

The trial had been told that the attack was timed to take place during a festival at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Islamic Militants in Indonesia Jailed for Beheading Christian Girls


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