22 September 2006 – Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus Da Silva and Don Marinus Riwu

Tibo, da Silva and Riwa

Tibo, da Silva and Riwa

Even the Pope couldn’t save three men from being executed in Indonesia on this day in 2006.

Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwa were three allegedly vengeful Catholics. They’d been found guilty of murder and inciting riots in Poso.

The riots erupted following clashes with the Muslims after three Christian schoolgirls were found beheaded. Their actions were seen as being in retaliation to that equally heinous event.


There was great opposition to the executions as there was doubt as to their guilt according to ‘Indonesia Matters’. Even a Muslim spoke out in the three men’s defence. Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) said ‘It is against Islam. Within Islam, if there is still doubt, then it mustn’t be done.’

Despite this and irrespective of the widely-held anti-execution stance, 61-year-old Tibo, da Silva, 43, and Riwa, 49, were put to death sometime between 1am and 2am local time by a firing squad in a secret place outside Palu.

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