August 2011

 

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Conviction of Ahmadiyyah Victim in Indonesia Undermines Constitutional Protections

Asian Human Rights Commission


The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is disturbed by the punitive decision of the Indonesian court on Aug. 15, 2011, to jail an innocent Ahmadi who protected himself during a mob attack, which reveals the lack of impartiality of the judiciary and legal community in Indonesia.


Deden Sudjana (Photo by www.whatsondalian.com)

Deden Sudjana was sentenced to six months imprisonment by the court for simply protecting the house the mob was attacking. Meanwhile, the 12 men who were responsible for brutally killing three Ahmadis in an attack in February 2011 were only sentenced to between three and six months imprisonment.

Approximately 1,500 people attacked the home of an Ahmadiyyah community leader in Cikeusik in West Java in February. Sudjana was hit with a machete and almost had his hand severed during the mob attack. The head of security for the Indonesian Ahmadiyyah Congregation (JAI) at the time, Sudjana has been detained since May for allegedly inciting the attack. In its judgment, the court ruled that he had disobeyed a police order to leave the scene and had been filmed punching another man. He was convicted of Articles 212 and 315.1 of the Criminal Code for resisting state officers and maltreatment, respectively.

The decision is senseless and embarrassing—indeed, a travesty of justice. The lenient sentences handed out to those convicted of killing three Ahmadis in July raised questions regarding judicial impartiality and upholding constitutional protections (see AHRC-PRL-034-2011), which have now been spotlighted again. The two verdicts indicate that Indonesia’s criminal justice system is not able to deliver justice independent from religious considerations. Indonesia’s Judicial Commission must act on this miscarriage of justice and push for reforms that will truly ensure a fair and impartial process of justice.

Indonesia today is increasingly seeing extremists push their agenda forward—mostly with the use of violence, resulting in the loss of life and damage to property. The Indonesian government has taken no effective steps to stop or prevent these violent activities, which will slowly erode the country’s secular values.

Similarly, the Indonesian courts and legal system have shown a complete disregard for the basic rule of law and have not taken up their mandate of protecting the constitutional rights of every Indonesian citizen.

AHRC urges a review of both verdicts and calls upon the Indonesian government and courts to ensure that all religious and other minorities are adequately protected.

For more information, see also:

• INDONESIA: Courts Verdict Encourages Further Attacks against Religious Minorities
• INDONESIA: Rule by Violence


* The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is a regional non-governmental organization monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984. More information is available on AHRC’s web site at <http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php>.