For Immediate Release

29 July 2011


Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) today expressed renewed concern about continuing violations of religious freedom in Indonesia following the sentencing of the perpetrators of violence against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, new threats to Christians, and developing tensions in West Papua.

Three men who took part in a brutal attack on the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Cikeusik, West Java in February 2011, which left three people dead, were sentenced yesterday to between three and six months in jail. CSW regards these sentences as astonishingly lenient, and believes it calls into question the integrity of Indonesia’s judicial system. CSW met survivors of the Cikeusik attack in May, and documented the violence in a report. One man told CSW, “When the attackers caught me, they stripped me naked on the road, dragged me through a river, beat me with sticks and machetes and tried to cut off my penis. They bashed stones on my head, and dragged me around the village. One man used a bamboo spear to hit my eye. They shouted that I was an ‘infidel’ and should be killed. I lost consciousness.”

In addition to the light sentencing of the perpetrators of anti-Ahmadiyya violence, the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission yesterday warned that the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor, West Java, may face mass violence if continuing tensions are not addressed. The church is one of many in West Java that have been sealed by local authorities, in violation of a Supreme Court ruling which permits the church to function. The congregation has been holding open-air worship in the street on Sundays, and extremist Islamist mobs have gathered to intimidate and threaten them.

In a separate development, earlier this week, the Chairman of the Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Papua, Rev. Socratez Sofyan Yoman, issued an “urgent report” claiming that churches in West Papua are coming under increasing threat from the Indonesian military. On 30 April, 2011 the Rehional Military Commander, Major-General Erfi Triassunu, accused the Church of Papua Gospel Tent (KINGMI) of supporting the Free Papua movement. The churches claim that since 2004, military operations in Puncak Jaya have resulted in the destruction of churches and homes, and killing of civilians, including at least one pastor. Rev. Socratez describes these as “humanitarian crimes” making Puncak Jaya “the most cruel and inhuman place”. In an appeal to the international community, he says: “We call [for] support from churches, …human rights institutions and community solidarity at [an] international level, to encourage … the Indonesian Government to stop all the violence … in West Papua … We call and plead with governments, members of Parliament, … churches, non-governmental organisations … to support peaceful unconditional dialogue between the government of Indonesia and the Papuans, mediated by a neutral third party.”

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said: “We are deeply concerned by the current developments in Indonesia, which as the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation has had a proud tradition of pluralism, tolerance, and religious freedom and harmony. The shockingly lenient sentences imposed on the perpetrators of some of the worst anti-minority violence in recent years raises serious questions about the integrity of Indonesia’s justice system, and gives the extremists a green light to continue their campaign of hatred. It leaves religious minorities throughout Indonesia, not only in West Java, and not only the Ahmadiyya community, vulnerable and defenceless. Threats to Christians in Bogor must be taken seriously, and the refusal of local authorities to abide by Supreme Court rulings regarding church licensing further undermines the rule of law in Indonesia. The military’s brutal occupation of predominantly Christian West Papua, accompanied by serious changes in demographics in Papua which have left the indigenous Papuan Christians a marginalised minority in their own land, is a further potential threat to Indonesia’s tradition of pluralism. The European Parliament passed a resolution earlier this month highlighting violations of religious freedom, and the events this week give us cause for increased concern. Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and his government must now take meaningful action to uphold the rule of law, strengthen the independence of the judiciary, provide protection to religious minorities, enter into dialogue with the Papuan people, and ensure that justice and human rights are protected for all.”

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email kiri@csw.org.uk or visit www.csw.org.uk.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

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السّلام عليكم و-ه [AsslmlKm w.w.]. Selamat datang di blog saya yang sederhana ini, dan terima kasih atas kunjungan, serta isian komentar-komentar maupun “Like This” Anda. جـــزاكم الله أحـــسن الجـــزآء [JzKml-Lh ahsnl-jz].[] ^_^

Jakarta, 1 Desember 2010

Rahmat Ali

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