Indonesia must commit to freedom of religion, says Amnesty

Ekklesia, Feb.24, www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14207

Amnesty International has urged the Indonesian government to repeat its commitment to protecting the right to freedom of religion in the face of calls from radical groups to outlaw a religious minority community.

Several hundred members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and other groups staged a demonstration in the capital Jakarta on 18 February 2011 calling on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to disband the Ahmadiyya group. A second protest is planned outside the Presidential Palace for 1 March 2011.

“The Indonesian government must state, clearly and publicly, that it will protect the rights of all Indonesian citizens, regardless of their religion – and that includes the rights of the Ahmadiyya community,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“The President should denounce public statements inciting violence against the Ahmadiyya and take steps to ensure that all religious minorities are protected and allowed to practise their faith free from fear, intimidation and persecution.”

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