Indonesia is failing the Ahmadiyya community

Vandalism of Ahmadiyya property in Tangerang, Indonesia
Vandalism of Ahmadiyya property in Tangerang, Indonesia © Private

By Chris Peel, Indonesia, Timor L’este, Vietnam and Cambodia Country Coordinator

Since 2014, it has been clear that Indonesia is no longer a haven of religious tolerance. Several laws, including the blasphemy law, have come into force which are been used to restrict peoples right of religious expression. Almost all religious minorities, such as the Shi'A and the Christian communities, face harassment, intimidation and the use of the blasphemy laws against their freedom of religion.

One of the community most affected by this is the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. In 2008, the government issued a Joint Ministerial Decree that prohibits the Ahmadiyya from promoting their activities and spreading their teachings. A violation of the decree can lead to a maximum five years in prison. In September 2010, Indonesia’s former Minister of Religion, Suryadharma Ali, called for the Ahmadiyya to be banned. Local authorities have closed a number of Ahmadiyya places of worship including Ciamis (June 2014) in Bekasi (May 2014) and Depok (December 2013).

More recently in 2016, 12 members of the Ahmadi community were forcibly evicted from their homes in Bangka Island, with nine others facing increased intimidation. This highlights the increased harassment and intimidation that the Amadi face within Indonesia. These acts of harassment and intimidation also were not properly investigated by the police, and have left many members of the community displaced.

This action directly contravenes the Indonesia constitution which protects the freedom of religion. Indonesia is also a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that this right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice and that 'no one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice'.

The Indonesian government must act to guarantee the religious freedom of the Ahmadi community, as well as other religious minorities in the country. They should also ensure that those who have been displaced by the violence committed against them should be offered adequate housing and protection as well as ensuring the preparator's of the crimes are properly  investigated. 

Following the passing of the resolution at the AGM in 2017 calling on Amnesty UK to campaign on the prosecution of the Ahmadiyya community. We are asking members to send appeals to the Indonesian Ambassador highlighting the prosecution of Amadiyaa in Indonesia. Please join us in doing this.

calling on Amnesty UK to campaign on the prosecution of the Ahmadiyya community, we

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