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Activists Slam Govt Inaction on Ahmadiyah Cases
March 23, 2011
Activists on Tuesday called for urgent state action against attacks on Ahmadiyah, saying authorities had failed to follow up on National Commission on Human Rights probes into the violence.
M.M. Billah, a former member of the commission, also known as Komnas HAM, said the body found clear proof of rights violations in last month’s mob riots against an Ahmadiyah community in Cikeusik, Banten.
The commission requested sanctions against hard-liners after it recorded instances of forced displacement, special targeting of victims and premeditated attacks. However, Billah said authorities refused to act on the findings.
Billah, now with the Jakarta-based Center for Participatory and Social Management, said inaction was not new.
“I headed the fact-finding team that was assigned to probe rights violations when Ahmadis in Parung, Bogor, were attacked in 2005,” he said.
“At the time, the Bogor Police chief told me he couldn’t arrest the perpetrators. He said if he did, an angry mob would destroy his office,” Billah said.
His team probed another assault on the minority Muslim sect a year later in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara.
Billah likened the attacks to “serious crimes against humanity and genocide.”
“In Cikeusik, there was murder, deprivation of freedom and persecution,” he said.
Yoseph Adi Prasetyo, a Komnas HAM commissioner, said on Tuesday that the fact-finding report on Cikeusik was almost complete. However, he said the commission did not have the authority to prosecute.
Yoseph said this was a recurring problem, particularly in cases of alleged rights abuses by armed forces personnel. “We’d hand over our reports to the House of Representatives and they’d have to push the police and prosecutors to bring the cases to court,” he said.
“To date, there are five pending cases that have not been followed up on,” he added.
Unresolved cases include the disappearance of activists across the nation during riots in May 1998 and the shooting of protesters near Trisakti University and Semanggi in Jakarta that same year.
There was also the 1989 massacre of 130 Muslims by soldiers in Talangsari, Lampung, as well as attacks on villagers in Wasior and Wamena in Papua.
Bhatara Ibnu Reza, a researcher for Imparsial, said Komnas HAM needed more state support. “Silence is no longer golden. By doing nothing, we are approving crimes against humanity.” Ulma Haryanto