Statement by Komnas Perempuan: The State Must Prioritize Law Enforcement and the Protection of Ahmadiyah Citizens’ Rights

21 May 2018 | Reporter - Komnas Perempuan
Deskripi foto

Office Statement of Komnas Perempuan:

The State Must Prioritize Law Enforcement and the Protection of Ahmadiyah Citizens’ Rights 

Jakarta, 21 May

The National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) strongly condemns the vandalism and violence directed against the Ahmadiyah community that occurred on the 19th and 20th May 2018. These attacks occurred in the Village of Greneg situated in the Sakra Timur District of the province of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB).

Based on complaints from a representative of the Ahmadiyah community who was a victim of these attacks, multiple forms of violence were experienced by the victims including threats and intimidation, forced eviction, the destruction of homes, as well as  threats and intimidation. This violence affected at least 7 Ahmadiyah families.  In the course of the attacks 6 houses were damaged, 4 motorbikes were heavily damaged, and various household appliances and electronics were destroyed. 24 victims consisting of adults, elderly, and children, were forced to evacuate to the East Lombok Police Station.

The recent wave of violent attacks experienced by the Ahmadiyah community have been reported to the police since March 2018. It is very regrettable that the local security forces have failed to act to prevent these acts of intolerance.

Komnas Perempuan has been documenting frequently occuring attacks against the Ahmadiyah congregation in NTB for the past 20 years (since October 1998). In 2005 and 2006 a mass expulsion of the Ahmadiyah community occurred and the congregation were forced to relocate to the camps of Oraya and Transito. The community has been internally displaced for 12 years, forced to live in temporary camps because the government has not fulfilled their rights to security and protection as Indonesian citizens.

The Ahmadiyah community has continually been the victims of violent attacks from intolerant groups. The violence faced by the community includes the destruction of their places of worship and homes, forced expulsions, beatings and even murder. The community has also been the victims of non-physical violence, being banned from worshipping, having their places of worship closed, and the women suffering verbal and sexual harassment.  

Based on the human rights violations detailed above, five institutions, consisting of the three National Human Rights Institutions (Komnas HAM, Komnas Perempuan and KPAI) along with the Witness and Victim Protection Institute and The Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia have recommended steps that the Central and Regional Governments must take.

Based on Komnas Perempuan’s monitoring of several cases of violence against the Ahmadiyah congregation in NTB, as well as other areas of Indonesia including Manis Lor, West Java, Cikeusik, and Bekasi, these intolerant actions have had lasting impacts on women’s lives. Although male victims have also experienced suffering, women are especially vulnerable due to the gender roles they play in their roles as mothers, wives and as members of society.

The experiences of women followers of minority religions, including Ahmadiyah, are documented in several reports produced by Komnas Perempuan. These reports demonstrate that the violence suffered by women in religious based conflicts includes:

  1. Experiencing physical, psychological and sexual violence (assault, forced divorce,threats of rape, sexual harassment, stigmatization and being labelled);
  2. Loss of security, fear of failing to protect children and worrying about education and the future of children;
  3. The breakdown of social relations in the context of both family and community relations;
  4. Health problems, especially reproductive health;
  5. Difficulties accessing Government assistance and Civil Administration rights (identity cards, marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.);
  6. Loss of livelihoods and deprivation of livelihood resources (transfer of workplaces to remote areas, difficulties in obtaining livelihoods);
  7. Poor housing conditions due to living in cramped and inhumane IDP camps.

The above conditions cannot be separated from the government policies directly or indirectly cause discrimination. These policies include Law No.1/1965 regarding the prevention of Blasphemy and Abuse of Religions and the Joint Decree of the Minister of Religious Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General (No. 3 of 2008, No. KEP-033 / A / JA / 6/2008, Number: 199 of 2008) regarding Warnings and Orders to Adherents, and/or Members of the Ahmadiyah Congregational Board not to Disseminate Their Teachings to the Community.

After these decrees, dozens of local regulations prohibiting the activities of the Ahmadiyah community have appeared in various regions in Indonesia. Moreover, various religious views exacerbate intolerance and violence against the Ahmadiyah community. As a result, attacks, restrictions on places of worship and violence continue to occur.

These most recent attacks on the Ahmadiyah community in East Lombok once again highlight the violence and intolerance that religious minorities face. These attacks and future attacks should be anticipated immediately by the Regional Government and the Security Apparatus.

In light of the threats of attack and discrimination against the Ahmadiyah community that continues to occur in NTB, Komnas Perempuan urges the following:

  1. The Central Government and Local Government should prioritize the immediate fulfillment of the Human Rights and Constitutional Rights -including the right to security and right to freedom from fear- of the Ahmadiyah community;
  2. The State should not bow to intolerant groups and should fulfil the right of the Ahmadiyah community to freedom of religion and belief. The state should also provide comprehensive treatment and reparations for victims of intolerance, paying special attention to women's vulnerability (as stipulated in the Law on Handling Social Conflict);
  3. Local security forces must be proactive in fulfilling their obligations to provide protection from acts of intolerance to Ahmadiyah people in East Lombok, and promptly enforce the law against perpetrators of violence and destruction;
  4. The East Lombok and NTB Governments must provide comprehensive recovery services to the victims, immediately rebuilding damaged and destroyed houses belonging to the Ahmadiyah Community so that the refugees can return to their homes immediately and continue their lives
  5. Local governments, security forces, and community leaders need to act together to prevent conflicts and intolerance and build understanding in the community building dialogues between groups
  6. Political elites must stop the practice of politicizing religion to mobilize public support, especially in the lead-up to the local elections, regional elections and presidential elections;
  7. All people should spread tolerant religious values, especially in the holy month of Ramadan where the values of peace and compassion are central to fasting.

Contact persons:

Khariroh Ali, Commissioner (081284659570)

Magdalena Sitorus, Commissioner (0811-8357-49)