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UA 077/11
Abgeschlossen am 27. April 2011

Ahmadiyya community at risk

AI-Index: ASA 21/008/2011

The Ahmadiyya community, a religious minority in Indonesia, is facing increasing restrictions, intimidation and attacks because of their beliefs.

The Ahmadiyya community is facing increasing levels of restrictions, intimidation and attacks because of their beliefs, since the killing of three Ahmadis in the sub-district of Cikeusik, Banten province on 6 February. Since then at least four provinces in Indonesia – South Sulawesi, West and East Java and Banten – have issued new regional regulations restricting Ahmadiyya activities. The regulations include prohibiting the Ahmadiyya from distributing pamphlets, putting signs in front of their offices and places of worship, as well as forbidding them from wearing anything to indicate that they are Ahmadiyya members.

Local human rights groups have documented cases of intimidation against the Ahmadiyya by the Indonesian military. According to them military officers have been visiting the homes of Ahmadis in several districts of West Java collecting data about their members and asking some of them to sign sworn statements renouncing their faith. Attacks against Ahmadiyya property have also been reported. On 11 March, four Ahmadi homes were attacked in Ciareteun, West Java. The following day the Bogor district police reportedly rounded up Ahmadis in a village, informing them of the new regulation restricting their activities and telling them to move out if they fear for their safety. In another incident in the same province on 13 March, an estimated 40 demonstrators reportedly broke into an Ahmadiyya place of worship in Cipeuyem village, Cianjur district and burned hundreds of books.

The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Indonesian Constitution. Moreover, Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, 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”.

Additional Information

The Ahmadiyya are a religious group who consider themselves to be a part of Islam. Many mainstream Muslim groups say they do not adhere to the accepted belief system.
Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of intimidation and violence against the Ahmadiyya community by radical groups in various parts of Indonesia. These include attacks and burning of Ahmadiyya places of worship and homes, at times leading to their displacement. In most cases, those who commit acts of violence against the Ahmadiyya are not punished and there is a tendency by the authorities to blame the minority for “deviant views” when attacks occur. Harassment and attacks against the Ahmadiyya community are also fuelled by a 2008 Joint Ministerial Decree forbidding the Ahmadiyya from promoting their activities.
Three members of the Ahmadiyya were killed on the island of Java on 6 February 2011 when more than 1,000 people wielding rocks, machetes, swords and spears stormed the house of an Ahmadiyya leader in the sub-district of Cikeusik, Banten province. Twelve people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Please refer to the following documents for more information:
Press release: Indonesia must commit to freedom of religion, 23 February 2011
Press release: Indonesian authorities must investigate Ahmadiyya killings (Index: PRE01/051/2011), 7 February 2011
Public statement: Indonesia: Government must find adequate housing for displaced Ahmadiyya community in Lombok (Index ASA 21/010/2010), 8 July 2010
Document: Displaced and forgotten: Ahmadiyya in Indonesia (Index ASA 21/006/2010), 8 July 2010

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