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Rights watch condemns police lax on Ahmadiyah attack
Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Human Rights Watch condemned the National Police for “tolerating” hate crimes in South Sulawesi during the attack of an Ahmadiyah congregation recently.
“The Indonesian Police may have thought they were taking the Ahmadiyah out of harm’s way, but they let the mob go on a rampage,” Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch said Thursday. “The authorities need to send a message that hate crimes won’t be tolerated by prosecuting those responsible.”
On January 28, 2011 police “evacuated” members of an Ahmadiyah congregation from their mosque in Makassar of South Sulawesi, amid increasingly threatening protests by members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). The FPI later attacked the mosque, destroying property and breaking windows.
Elaine added that the police should arrest those responsible for attacking an Ahmadiyah congregation in South Sulawesi, as well as protect vulnerable religious minority groups throughout the country.
She asserted that the attack on the Ahmadiyah community in South Sulawesi underscored a troubling trend in Indonesia.
“Religious extremists are harassing religious minorities, particularly members of the Ahmadiyah community, and law enforcement officials are failing to hold those responsible to account.”
The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, a Jakarta-based group working on religious freedom, recorded 50 cases of attacks in 2010 against the Ahmadiyah community.