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Court rejects Ahmadiyah suit
Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post/Bandung
The Bandung State Administrative Court has rejected a lawsuit filed by the West Java office of the Ahmadiyah congregation to annul a decree issued by the Bogor regency consultative leadership council (Muspida) prohibiting the congregation’s activities in the area.
The state administrative court said on Thursday that it had no authority to adjudicate the case as the decree was not an official state policy.
The same court had also turned down a similar lawsuit filed by the Ahmadiyah congregation in Cirebon, also in West Java, earlier.
Presiding judge Syamsir Alam told the court that according to Article 77 section 1 of the law on the state administrative court such a decree was not official state policy because it was issued not only by state officials, but also by civilians.
“For that reason, the court can not adjudicate the case,” he said, suggesting that the lawsuit should be filed with the Bogor District Court.
The decree was issued by the Muspida of Bogor, a committee comprising of the Bogor municipal administration, the police, the prosecutor’s office, and the Bogor Ulema Council, in July of this year, prohibiting the propagation of the teachings of Ahmadiyah, an Islamic sect which does not believe that Muhammad was the last prophet.
The Ahmadiyah congregation in Parung, Bogor, was attacked by mobs in the same month prior to the issuance of the decree.
Human rights activists have slammed the decree, saying that it clearly runs counter to the nation’s Constitution, which protects freedom of religion.
Syamsir, with two other judges, Iskandar and Teddy Romyadi, did not ask for the plaintiff’s response to the verdict, which is a standard court procedure.
Ahmadiyah lawyer Adnan Buyung Nasution said he was disappointed that the judges did not ask whether his party accepted, objected to or rejected the verdict.
“We will appeal,” he said.
A member of Jamaah Ahmadiyah Congregation’s legal team, Wirawan, slammed the ruling, saying that the judges’ argument was “absurd” as many state officials signed the decree.
“It has become a legal product that all Bogor residents are bound by. It has also violated the basic rights of Ahmadiyah members,” he said.