Minister of Religious Affairs: Nothing new on demand to abolish Indonesia’ blasphemy law

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Sonia Fitri/Satya Festiani

MINISTER of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin stated that Amnesty International’s demand for Indonesia to repeal blasphemy law was not a new thing. Earlier, the international organization promoting human rights filed judicial review to Constitutional Court in 2010.

Lukman Hakin Saifuddin

Lukman Hakin Saifuddin

“It was failed as Constitutional Court annuled the judicial review,” Minister Saifuddin said on Sunday, November 23. Constitutional Court refused by saying that the laws did not contradict with Constitution of Indonesia.

penodaan ag tjpMinister invited those who assessed that the laws violated international human rights commitments to proactively propose suggestion on revision. Government is currently drafting new legislation to protect citizens of all faiths.

Amnesty International stated that Indonesian authorities had increasingly made use of a range of oppressive blasphemy laws to imprison individuals for their beliefs, contributing to an intensifying climate of intolerance in the country. As cited from Amnesty International official website, Prosecuting Beliefs shows that the number of blasphemy convictions skyrocketed during former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s decade in power (2004-2014) compared to previous administrations.

Rupert Abbott

Rupert Abbott

“Indonesia’s blasphemy laws fly in the face of international law and standards and must be repealed urgently. We’ve documented more than 100 individuals who have been jailed for nothing but peacefully expressing their beliefs – they are all prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally,” Amnesty International’s South East Asia and Pacific Research Director, Rupert Abbott said. “No one should have to live in fear of simply expressing their religious opinions and beliefs. President Joko Widodo’s new administration has an opportunity to reverse this disturbing trend and usher in a new era of respect for human rights,”

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

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