Indonesia bans ‘extremist’ groups

Indonesia bans ‘extremist’ groups

12/07/17

Paul Nicholson, Corporate Services Manager

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has signed an order to give powers to the justice ministry to ban the activities of groups deemed as threat to national security, without having to first secure a court order.

The order is an amendment to an existing law regulating mass organisations. The move comes after Jakarta’s Christian governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama was sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy against Islam amid protests from sectarian groups in the country, reports Al Jazeera.

Commentators suggest the order is aimed at the activities of groups, such as Hizbut Tahrir, who campaign for Islamic laws in the Muslim majority state. Indonesia’s Security Minister, General Wiranto, said that the order ” is not meant to hurt the existence of Islamic organisations or discredit them”, according to ABC news.

International human rights groups, including US based Human Rights Watch, have condemned the order as a violation of freedom of association and expression.