In­done­sian tar­gets rad­i­cals with edict

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

JAKARTA, In­done­sia — In­done­sia’s pres­i­dent signed a de­cree giv­ing the gov­ern­ment the power to ban rad­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions, a move aimed at out­law­ing groups be­hind an ap­par­ent rise in the po­lit­i­cal clout of hard-line Is­lam.

The mea­sure amends an ex­ist­ing law reg­u­lat­ing mass or­ga­ni­za­tions, al­low­ing the gov­ern­ment to side­step a po­ten­tially lengthy court process to im­ple­ment a ban. It is likely that Hizbut Tahrir, a group that cam­paigns for In­done­sia to adopt Shariah law and be­come a caliphate, is among the tar­gets of the de­cree. The gov­ern­ment an­nounced in May that it planned to ban the group.

Wi­ranto, the co­or­di­nat­ing min­is­ter for pol­i­tics, se­cu­rity and law, said the de­cree is aimed at pro­tect­ing the unity of In­done­sia and not at dis­cred­it­ing Is­lamic groups. Wi­ranto, who uses one name, said the de­cree was signed by Pres­i­dent Joko Wi­dodo on Mon­day.

New York-based Hu­man Rights Watch con­demned the move, call­ing it a “trou­bling vi­o­la­tion” of the rights to free­dom of as­so­ci­a­tion and ex­pres­sion de­spite it be­ing sup­ported by mod­er­ate groups such as Nahd­latul Ulama, In­done­sia’s largest Mus­lim or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Is­mail Yu­santo, a spokesman for Hizbut Tahrir, said the group plans to seek a ju­di­cial re­view of the de­cree in the Con­sti­tu­tional Court.


In­done­sian Co­or­di­nat­ing Min­is­ter for Pol­i­tics, Se­cu­rity and Law Wi­ranto (left), ac­com­pa­nied by In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Ru­di­antara (right), ges­tures as he speaks Wed­nes­day dur­ing a news con­fer­ence an­nounc­ing a pres­i­den­tial de­cree to amend an ex­ist­ing law reg­u­lat­ing mass or­ga­ni­za­tion in Jakarta, In­done­sia.

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