Haris Azhar - Youtube

Government Fails to Guarantee Religious Freedom, Rights Group Says

Haris Azhar - Youtube

Haris Azhar – Youtube

Yogyakarta, Jubi – The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) deplored the incident in which a mosque was burned in Tolikara, Papua.

The incident on July 17 was allegedly triggered by the shooting of civilians, triggering panic among local people.  After the incident, some religious leaders and public officials have fueled the tensions by giving provocative comments in media.

KontraS said following Tolikara incident, at least there are three incidents of vandalism and burning over the house of worship in Palu (Sulawesi Tengah), Purworejo (Jawa Tengah) and Bantul (DI Yogyakarta).
“We assumed those incidents were a vengeance related to the last incident at Tolikara that triggered by provocative comments,” KontraS stated in Press Conference published in KontraS official website on last month.

For not being anticipated and letting the provocative sentiments related to race and religious issue that raised in some Indonesian’s regions indicated that the State is frequently absence in every efforts to guarantee a protection towards it citizens in freedom of faith, especially the right to do a worship.


Instead of provide a protection to its citizens; it has an impression that the State did a negligence and discrimination. Though the freedom of worship is guaranteed in the Constitution 1945, namely Article 28 E paragraph 1 and 2 and Article 29 paragraph 2 which says ‘Each person is free to have a religion and do a worship according to their belief. Law No. 39/1999 about Human Rights said,” Each person has a right to have a belief, states their thought and act according to their compassion; State guarantee the freedom of its citizens to have their belief and do worship according to their religion and belief”.

The Law No 12 2005 about International Covenant Endorsement about Civil and Politic Rights Article 18 said “everyone has a right of freedom of thought, faith and religion as well as the protection of those rights, and Article 27 said  “and the act to protect the ethnic group, religion and minority language might be a responsible of State,”.

Referring to several laws and Tolikara incident, KontraS considered the State has failed in providing a guarantee to protect the freedom of belief. The State has conducted a humanity crime due to its negligence when it acted permissively over many violation incidents on religious base.

Therefore, KontraS condemned all forms of violence in the name of religious and destruction of house of worship both in Tolikara or any regions in Indonesia. In addition, KontraS urged the government to conduct an evaluation on regional regulation related to religion, which actually create a discrimination against minority religious community. We shall remind that Indonesia is not the State of Religion; therefore it is not justified to make Religious Law into State Law.

KontraS also urged the Indonesian Police taking action against perpetrators of violence and vandalism over the house of worship both in Tolikara or other regions, including those who spread the provocative messages or calls. “We also remind and believe that all religions/beliefs are created to eliminate any type of violence and avoid the hatred or prejudice,” stated KontraS. (Arnold Belau/rom)

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