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3 Indonesian tribesmen get death for ritual killings
www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-14 13:29:06

    JAKARTA, Feb. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- An Indonesian court has sentenced to death three men from an indigenous tribe on remote Seram island,north of Maluku province, for ritual killings, a local newspaper reported Tuesday.

    The three convicts, who do not speak Indonesian, were found guilty of killing two men last July during a tribal rite.

    The three convicts, identified as Patti Sounawe, Nusy Sounawe and Sekeranane Soumorry, killed Bonefer Nuniary and Brusly Lekranein Holoa village in Central Maluku regency.

    In the ritual, the three condemned inmates were ordered together with three other tribe members -- Saniayu Sounawe, TohonuSomory and Sumon Sounawe who got life sentences in the same case --to bring back two human beings for a tribal ceremony.

    In their hunt, the six people met Bonefer and Bursly, who were fishing at a nearby river.

    In line with the tribal provision, they were forced to kill the victims and take the heads, hearts, tongues and hands, said The Jakarta Post.

    Defense lawyer Janes Manubun argued that due to the absence of explanation about legal aspects, members of the tribe were not aware of the consequences of killing someone.

    "The government has never given them explanation about laws, sowe had hoped that the verdict would be based on more equitable considerations," he said.

    Such rites have been conducted by the tribe on the island, some2,800 km east of Jakarta, for centuries, especially during a change of tribal leadership. In 1994, two Masohi residents, who were hunting in the forests, were also mutilated by members of theNaulu tribe.

    Even for the marriage purposes, the groom must hand over a human head of from another tribe to the bride's family, said the newspaper. Enditem

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