Celebrated for Pluralism, but Marred by Rights Abuses

2011 was not a good year for human rights in Indonesia. Starting with the persecution faced by the Ahmadiyah sect and continuing with the closure of the GKI Yasmin church in Bogor, the ongoing Papuan crisis and, at the end of the year, news of the Mesuji massacre, the year seemed perfectly designed to give way to a 2012 in which a child was charged for stealing a pair of a policeman’s sandals.

The wave of human right violations has caused no little public insecurity. Most of the cases have in common the fact that the victims are mostly from defenseless minorities.

The ignorant crimes of religious violence have been worsened by the fact that the Religious Affairs Ministry has been traditionally slanted to favor Muslims. The Religious Affairs Minister openly stated his preference for disbanding Ahmadiyah in August 2010. While the statement was made two years ago, it is a reminder that Indonesian public officials are capable of making irresponsible comments that are not subject to consequences of any sort.

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Categories: Asia, Indonesia

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