Fair Trial: Indonesia Rejects Outrage Over Lynch Mob Sentences

Indonesia on Friday dismissed expressions of outrage and disbelief over the perceived light sentences handed down to Islamic extremists who killed three minority sect members in a mob frenzy.

Religious Affairs Ministry said the sentences of 3-6 months for the men accused of leading the murderous assault was the result of a fair trial.

The United States and the European Union expressed strong misgivings while local rights groups and international watchdogs issued strong condemnations and calls for action to address rising intolerance in the mainly Muslim country.

But Religious Affairs Ministry spokesman Zubaidi said the sentences of three to six months for the men accused of leading the murderous assault on the Ahmadiyah sect members in February were the result of a fair trial.

“As an executive body, we cannot interfere in the legal system. We believe in the law enforcers. They have the right to come up with the sentences,” he said.

“Whether the sentences are light or harsh, how it’s perceived is relative.”

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, often held up by the United States and others as a champion of pluralism and democracy, made no comment on the sentences.

Foreign ministry officials were unavailable to comment.

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Categories: Asia, Crime, Human Rights, Indonesia, Law

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  1. There is a worldwide condemnation of this opinion from Indonesia. Only few links are quoted here:

    Tribune:

    “Indonesian court lets anti-Ahmadi mob perpetrators off ‘lightly'”
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/219368/indonesian-court-lets-anti-ahmadi-mob-perpetrators-off-lightly/

    Voice of America News:

    “No murder Charges”
    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/southeast/Indonesian–126315018.html

    CNN
    “Indonesia under fire for light sentences in Islamic sect attack”
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/07/28/indonesia.sentences/

    Australian Radio
    “Indonesian judges scared, says lawyer”
    http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/201107/3280540.htm?desktop

    Jakarta Globe:
    “A Criminal Verdict”
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/commentary/cikeusik-a-criminal-verdict/455860

    “Cikeusik Verdicts Met With Disbelief”
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/cikeusik-verdicts-met-with-disbelief/455905

    BBC:
    “Indonesia: Anger at ‘light’ sentences on sect killings”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14330834

    Global Post:

    “Religious tolerance suffers another defeat in Indonesia
    Indonesia struggles with that whole “freedom of religion” thing.”
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/110728/Ahmadiyah-violence-indonesia-islamist-youtube-video

    “Light sentence for videoed vigilantes”
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/light-sentence-videoed-vigilantes

    The New York Times:
    “Rights Advocates Criticize Light Sentences in Sectarian Killings in Indonesia”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/world/asia/29indonesia.html

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