Government Inaction, Discriminatory Laws Embolden Militant Groups
(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government is failing to protect the country’s religious minorities from growing religious intolerance and violence, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should respond much more decisively and adopt a “zero tolerance” policy for attacks on religious minority communities.
The 107-page report, “In Religion’s Name: Abuses against Religious Minorities in Indonesia,” documents the government’s failure to confront militant groups whose thuggish harassment and assaults on houses of worship and members of religious minorities has become increasingly aggressive. Those targeted include Ahmadiyahs, Christians, and Shia Muslims. Indonesian monitoring groups have noted a steady increase in such attacks, one group finding 264 violent incidents over the past year.