Amnesty estimates that about 100 inmates have been tried by judges since the beginning of last year.
Indonesia has ordered a number of prisoners to be executed as a result of Zoom and other video programs on the coronavirus, which critics say is “cruel” to the victims.
The Southeast Asian country turned to the courts where the COVID-19 ban closed many cases between them, including murder and drug trafficking, which could result in the death penalty.
Since the beginning of last year, nearly 100 inmates have been sentenced to death in Indonesia by judges who only see them on television, according to Amnesty International.
The predominantly Muslim ethnic group has the worst laws in the world and all Indonesian and foreign traffickers have been killed, including the leaders of the Bali Nine terrorist group in Australia.
This month, 13 members of a human trafficking company, including three Iranians and Pakistanis, heard through a video that they would be shot for smuggling 400kg methamphetamine (880 pounds) from Indonesia.
Wednesday, a court in Jakarta has ordered activists to kill six people using a video program about their actions in the 2018 prison riots in which five Indonesian militants were killed.
“The real case is undermining the rights of the detainees to death – they are referring to a person’s life or death,” said Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International Indonesia.
“The death penalty is always a cruel punishment. But what is happening online adds to the injustice and violence. ”
‘Take things in stride’
Indonesia has continued to listen even to the number of those killed and the death penalty was reduced Worldwide last year, when COVID-19 disrupted a number of cases, Amnesty said in its annual criminal report this week.
The real case leaves activists free to take part in cases that are sometimes disrupted in countries without internet access, including Indonesia, critics say.
“The actual platforms … can show the victim that they are violating their right to practice and to protect security,” NGO Harm Reduction International said in a recent report on murder cases for drug offenses.
Lawyers have complained that they are not able to interview clients because of the virus. And the families of the accused are sometimes barred from hearing cases that are usually open to the public.
“This case has given a clear indication of the seriousness of the allegations,” said Indonesian lawyer Dedi Setiadi.
Setiadi, who defended a number of men sentenced to death in a methamphetamine case this month, said he had gone to court because all their charges were incorrect.
The relatives of the defendants were not given any opportunity, the lawyer said.
The death penalty is often changed to longer prisons in Indonesia and sentencing itself could result in a harsher sentence, according to Setiadi, who described his clients as the lowest-ranked players in the smuggling ring.
“The verdict would have been different if the judges had spoken directly to their opponents and seen what they were saying,” he said. “Zoom size isn’t too small.”
The Indonesian Supreme Court, which ruled that cases should be posted online on the plague, did not respond to a request for comment.
But the country’s judiciary told AFP that it had asked the high court to reconsider its criminal record, including cases that carry the maximum penalty.
There are about 500 people, including many foreigners, awaiting execution in Indonesia, where convicted prisoners walk through the jungle, strangled and shot.