Pakistani meth smuggler learns via Zoom that he’ll be sentenced to death

Thirteen participants, three Iranians, and one Pakistani member included heard from a zoom video call that 400kilogram methamphetamines will be fired in Indonesia in connection with smuggling. This is only one of the instances in which the nation of South-East Asia relied on a simulated court trial to condemn inmates to death.

Gulf News reports that Indonesia developed into automated tribunals, with Covid-19 restrictions closing the majority of individual courts, including murders and drug dealing, which can be subject to the death penalty.

At the beginning of last year, almost 100 prisoners have been convicted by judges in Indonesia of death, as Amnesty International has said.

The Muslim majority nation has some of the toughest laws in the world on drugs and both Indonesian and international smugglers, including the leaders of Australia's Bali Nine opium band, have been enforced.

"Virtual trials are degrading accused people's rights to death penalties—they're people's lives and lives," said Director Usman Hamid from Amnesty International Indonesia.

"There was still a harsh sentence for the death penalty. This pattern online leads to inequality and inhumanity, though," he said.

In its annual capital punishment study this week, Amnesty says that Indonesia has gone on with the simulated hearing even though the number of killings and executions fell globally in the past year, with Covid-19 upsetting multiple criminal prosecutions.

Critics argue that virtual trials do not allow suspects to engage entirely in cases that are often disrupted in countries where there are weak Internet links, like Indonesia.

In a study on the death penalty for opioid crimes, NGO Harm Reduction International said "Virtual media... will subject the complainant to substantial infringements on their rights to a reasonable hearing, and affect the quality of the defense."