Criticize Execution of Mentally Ill Man


Target: Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia

Goal: Decry execution and maltreatment of severely schizophrenic man.

A severely mentally ill man was recently put to death in Indonesia. Rodrigo Gularte, who suffered from severe schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, did not understand he was going to be executed until the last minute, according to the priest who counseled him. Despite pleas from the Brazilian government to grant the man a commuted sentence due to his illness, he was executed by a firing squad.

Gularte was arrested in 2005 for attempting to smuggle over 12 pounds of cocaine into Indonesia using a hollowed-out surfboard. He, as well as seven other drug smugglers from all over the world were all put to death on the same day. One of the accused, a mother of two, escaped her execution at the last minute when proof that she was taken advantage of by a human trafficking ring surfaced.

During his ten years in detention, Gularte suffered a decline in his mental health. Without access to proper psychiatric care he began to experience hallucinations, delusions, and psychotic episodes. Indonesian officials refused recommendations to transfer him to a psychiatric ward on the basis that the recommendation was made by a doctor working for the defense attorney.

Not only were the conditions of his detention neglectful and torturous, this man was executed due to the pigheadedness of Indonesian officials. Because they so quickly discounted an expert opinion due to the doctor’s position as a defense witness, a man too ill to understand what was happening to him has lost his life. Sign the petition below to condemn Indonesia’s insensitive and cruel execution of a severely mentally ill man.


Dear Mr. Joko Widodo,

Rodrigo Gularte, a man who suffered from bipolar disorder and severe schizophrenia, was recently executed by a firing squad in Indonesia. According to the priest that counseled him before his death, Gularte was so ill that he did not understand he would be executed until the last minute. During his 10 years of detention, he was denied mental health care despite expert recommendations.

At the time of his execution, Gularte’s mental health had declined to the point that he was experiencing delusions and hallucinations. Rather than being incarcerated and executed, this man needed compassion and medical care. We, the undersigned, condemn the cruel and merciless execution of Rodrigo Gularte.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: SKopp

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