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Bali Bombers to Challenge Execution by Firing Squad

Lawyers for three Islamic militants awaiting execution for the 2002 bombings on Indonesia's Bali Island say they will challenge the legality of death by firing squad, calling the method "torture." VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins in Jakarta has more.

The team of lawyers representing Amrozi Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufron plan to lodge a constitutional court challenge this week in a bid to delay their client's executions.

The three militants were convicted in 2003 of planning and helping to carry out the bombing attacks in Bali that killed 202 people, many of them foreign tourists.

Lawyer Mahendradatta said during executions in Indonesia sometimes condemned prisoners do not die immediately and must be shot a second time, causing them to feel pain.

"We find that yes; of course, we admit that Mr. Amrozi and his friends was sentenced to death, but not torture," he said. "According to the constitution of the Republic of Indonesia - the right not to be tortured is something like a strong right. We seek the execution without pain."

Earlier this month, Indonesia's Supreme Court ruled the appeal process in the case of the Bali bombers, who have all admitted their guilt, had been exhausted, paving the way for their execution.

Although executions in Indonesia are not announced ahead of time, Indonesian authorities say the bombers may be executed at any time.

Lawyer Mahendradatta denies he is trying to delay the executions.

"There is no related that it means that when we file constitutional challenge to constitutional court - that execution must be delayed, there is no law said that," he said.

All three condemned militants belong to the al-Qaida linked regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.

The group is believed to be responsible for a series of deadly bombings in Indonesia and the Philippines that have claimed the lives of hundreds of people during the past several years.

Indonesian authorities have arrested and jailed hundreds of militants in the past few years, seriously damaging the group terrorism experts say.

In another terrorist attack in Bali three years ago, three suicide bombers killed 21 people, and earlier this month police arrested 10 militants who they say were planning on carrying out bombings to avenge the upcoming executions.