Resolution adopted without a vote* by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 161st session
(Cairo, 16 September 1997)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/161/10(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 160th session (April 1997) concerning the case of Mr. Sukatno, of Indonesia,

Taking account of the letter from the Secretary General of the Indonesian Parliament dated 29 August 1997 in which he reported the death of Mr. Sukatno on 8 May 1997,

Also taking account of the information provided by the sources on 29 August 1997,

Recalling the persistent reports it had received since March 1996 of Mr. Sukatno's declining state of health; noting, however, that the authorities had consistently affirmed that he was in good health,

Recalling that, on the occasion of his mission to Indonesia in September 1996, the Secretary General was able to visit Mr. Sukatno in Cipinang Prison, thanks to the co-operation of the competent Indonesian authorities, and that he observed, in the presence of Indonesian officials, that Mr. Sukatno was suffering from undeniably grave mental and physical afflictions,

Recalling its position that keeping such an old and sick man as Mr. Sukatno in prison and under threat of execution is contrary to all humanitarian standards and unquestionably constitutes cruel and degrading treatment,

Recalling the pressing appeals the Inter-Parliamentary Union had consistently made to the President of the Republic that he pardon Mr. Sukatno in view of his advanced age, the nearly three decades he had already spent in prison and his declining health, and also bearing in mind its appeals to the Indonesian Parliament to intervene in favour of Mr. Sukatno's release, and its request that it submit a formal petition to the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights to take action in support of Mr. Sukatno's release so that he might be able to spend his remaining days among his family and friends,

Considering that, on 17 April 1997, Mr. Sukatno was taken to Kramatjati Police Hospital, his health having deteriorated to the point where he no longer recognised anyone; that, as he reportedly did not receive adequate medical treatment there, he was transferred to Cikini Hospital where he passed away on 8 May 1997,

1. Expresses its profound regret at the death of Mr. Sukatno;

2. Is profoundly saddened by the fact that its many pressing appeals went unheeded and that Mr. Sukatno was denied the benefit of a humanitarian gesture that would have let him spend his remaining time among his family and friends;

3. Hopes that Mr. Sukatno's fellow inmates also under sentence of death for involvement in the 1965 coup attempt will not suffer a comparable fate, and that they will be released on humanitarian grounds;

4. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the Speaker of Parliament and to the Secretary General of the National Human Rights Commission;

5. Decides to close the case.

* * *

*The Indonesian delegation expressed reservations with regard to the resolution adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Council.

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