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 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
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:
Courts Verdict Encourages Further Attacks against Religious Minorities
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>.