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NGOs suggest reviews on Ahmadiyah bans
Bagus BT Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
A number of NGOs concerned with human rights suggested Friday that civil society file a legal lawsuit and judicial reviews against regulations and decrees issued by local leaders banning Ahmadiyah.
“Any efforts to ban Ahmadiyah followers from conducting their rituals are against, not only the 1945 Constitution, but also a number of laws,” Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violences (Kontras) coordinator Haris Azhar told a press conference.
He cited Article 28 of the Constitution, which guarantees every citizens’ religious rights.
Regulations made by provincial, regency and city administrations can be reviewed by the Supreme Court if considered not in line with higher regulations or laws.
Regulations in the form of decrees made governors, regents or mayors can be annulled by the State Administrative Court in all cities as well as regental and provincial capitals.
As of March 2011, there are 12 local administrations which have issued regulations banning Ahmadiyah, according to NGOs. The latest regions include East Java province, West Java province, South Sumatra province, Pandeglang regency and Samarinda municipality.
A number of laws considered as assurance for Ahmadiyah to exist in Indonesia included the 1999 Law on Human Rights and the 2006 Law on the Ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Fajri Nursyamsi from the Center for Legal and Policy Studies said.
Most of the local bans on Ahmadiyah were made based on the 1965 Blasphemy Law, he said. “The law is already too old and no longer in line with the current situation.
Last year, a number of NGOs filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court to challenge the 1965 Law. The court, however, rejected the request and upheld the law.