Source/Credit: The Jakarta Post
By TJP | July 29, 2011
An international human rights organization said that the sentences handed out to 12 people accused of slaying members of the Ahmadiyah faith in Cikeusik, West Java, show that religious minorities still“face ongoing discrimination.”
The Serang District Court sentenced 10 men and two boys to between three and six months' imprisonment for their involvement in the killing of three Ahmadis during a brutal attack against the minority community in February.
“The attacks in Cikeusik sent a frightening signal to religious minorities in Indonesia,” Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director, Sam Zarifi, said in a release sent to The Jakarta Post on Friday.
“These verdicts do not indicate that the government is treating attacks against religious minorities, especially Ahmadiyah, seriously,” he added.
The Ahmadis have been the targets of various forms of intimidation and violence by hard-line religious groups who have branded the Ahmadiyah faith as “deviant” to Islamic teachings.
Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali called for the banning of the community in 2008, while several provinces have issued regulations restricting the group's activities.
According to Sam, the government must revoke these regulations as well as a joint ministerial decree which forbids Ahmadis from promoting their activities.
"It is high time that Indonesia develops a concrete strategy to strengthen respect for freedom of religion and religious tolerance, which has clearly deteriorated in recent years," he added.
Read original post here: Light Cikeusik sentencing highlights legal discrimination: Rights group