Freedom of Religion & Belief

Themes, FORBThe protection of fundamental rights of minorities is a key human rights indicator in any nation. Many societies transitioning from war or authoritarian rule witness a rise in violence against religious minority groups. Although democratic transitions facilitate better human rights protection, AJAR’s experience in the region is that minority groups become vulnerable to violent attacks during these periods of rapid change.

During Indonesia’s New Order regime the persecution of groups perceived as religiously ‘deviant’ was part of its draconian strategy for control. Some examples include: 1) the Tanjung Priok case (1984); 2) the Talangsari case (1989); 3) Komando Jihad attacks in Central Java; 4) attack on Ahmadiyah in West Java and West Nusa Tenggara, Poso, etc. To date, there has almost no remedy for these cases. Institutions that participated in these violations remain unrepentant. This on-going impunity for past cases contributes to the weak protection of the fundamental rights of minority religious groups today.

AJAR is currently working with a network of NGOs on the protection of religious freedom. We aim to strengthen Indonesia’s capacity to address recent attacks against minority religious groups, by developing an approach that investigates the long-standing impunity for cases of religious persecution, advocate for remedies for victims, in order to strengthen religious tolerance in the future.

Some of our key activities include:

  • Joint research on remedies for religious-based human rights violations with Komnas HAM.
  • Documentation and public campaign on religious tolerance with victims groups
  • Facilitation of regional dialog on accountability and religious-based violations.

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