About the Island
Nusa Kambangan is known by locals as Pulau Hantu or Ghost Island, and for good reason. The notorious place is home to thousands of Cobras which were released to discourage inmates from escaping the maximum-security prison.
The 210-square kilometer island houses seven prisons which are strategically located five kilometers away from each other. The prisons were first built in 1908 by Dutch colonies and was initially meant to serve as a frontline for lookouts to protect ships from pirates. Now, only four of the seven prisons are operating.
In 2016, the island was the home of 59 inmates on death row, and more than 1,200 inmates serving at least five years. Now, the island has more than 2,000 inmates behind the high-walled prisons. Some of the inmates of the island include Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Mukhlas, the villainous trio behind the Bali bombings.
Most of the executions, including the members of the notorious Bali Nine, are done at the island’s very own Nirbaya Valley.
Here, inmates are blindfolded, taken into the area, then ordered to stand, kneel, or sit while they wait for the shots of the executioners aimed at their chest. If they survive the shower of bullets, the commander is required to shoot the inmates in the head.