Urgent Action: Homes of Religious Minority Destroyed by Mob

Police evacuated at least 23 members of the Ahmadiyya religious minority in East Lombok to another town after neighbouring villagers destroyed their homes and possessions. Repeatedly attacked over a period of 24 hours, the community continue to face on-going intimidation and threats of damage to their property.

At least 23 individuals from the Ahmadiyya religious minority in Gereneng village, in West Nusa Tenggara Province were evacuated by the East Lombok Police following an attack by dozens people from the same village on 19 May 2018. Starting at 11am local time, the mob destroyed at least six houses, four motorcycles, a local store and household equipment belonging to the members of the Ahmadiyya community. According to one of the victims, the mob also took her family’s jewellery and money. Victims of the attack, mostly women and children, have not yet been able to return to their homes.

Later that same night, at around 9pm, approximately 30 people also from Gereneng village tried to destroy other houses that belong to Ahmadiyya individuals using stones, bricks and sticks, but police and military personnel stopped them and ordered them to return home. The following day at 6.30am the group of people returned to Gereneng village and destroyed two other houses with the police and military personnel present in the area. In total, at least eight houses have been destroyed by mobs in less than 24 hours.

The local police, military commanders and district government in East Lombok District organized a mediation meeting and decided to relocate the Ahmadiyya members to a temporary shelter in Gelang village, Selong Sub-District, East Lombok. The commander of the local police force has promised to initiate an investigation into the attacks.

The Ahmadiyya are a religious group who consider themselves part of Islam. However, many Muslim groups say they do not adhere to the accepted belief system. Members of the Ahmadiyya community have faced discrimination, intimidation and threats in various other parts of Indonesia because their teachings are viewed as “deviant” by the government. The Indonesian government must take concrete steps to protect minority communities like the Ahmadiyyas from violence and forced evictions and counter advocacy and acts of hatred against them.

Please write immediately in English, Bahasa or your own language calling on authorities in Indonesia:

  • Ensure the safety of the 23 Ahmadiyya members in Gereneng village and take steps to ensure that all other Ahmadiyya members in West Nusa Tenggara Province are protected from forced evictions;
  • Ensure that all those involved in the attack against the Ahmadiyya community are brought to justice in line with international standards and that victims are provided reparations;
  • Facilitate and guarantee the safe, voluntary and dignified return of the Ahmadiyya community to their homes, according to their wishes, and to provide assistance to enable them to rebuild the homes that were damaged or destroyed.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 3 JULY 2018 TO:

Head of West Nusa Tenggara Regional Police

Brig. Gen. (Police) Achmat Juri

Regional Police of West Nusa Tenggara

Jl. Langko No 77, Mataram

West Nusa Tenggara Porvince

Indonesia 83125

Fax: +62 (0)370 633 152

Salutation: Dear General

The Governor of West Nusa Tenggara

TGH. Muhammad Zainul Majdi

Office of West Nusa Tenggara Governor

Jl. Pejanggik No.12, Mataram

West Nusa Tenggara Porvince

Indonesia 83122

Fax: +62 (0)370 22305

Email: kominfotik@ntbprov.go.id

Salutation: Dear Mr.

And copies to:

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM)

Mr. Ahmad Taufan Damanik

Komnas HAM

Jalan Latuharhary No. 4

Jakarta Pusat, 10310 Indonesia

Fax: +62 (0)213 925 227

Email: info@komnasham.go.id


Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Additional Information

According to human rights groups monitoring the situation, other members of the Ahmadiyya community who have chosen to remain in Gereneng village are facing on-going intimidation and threats of damage to their homes and property from other residents in neighbouring villages.

Religious minority groups in Indonesia, including Shi’a, Ahmadiyya and Christian communities often face harassment, intimidation and attacks. At least 1,500 members of the religious minority group the Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) were forcibly evicted from their villages in Menpawah, West Kalimantan in January. In December 2011, a mob set fire to a place of worship, a boarding school and number of homes belonging to the Shi’a community on Madura Island. In Lombok, East Nusa Tenggara province, an Ahmadiyya community has been living in inadequate housing since their homes were attacked and burnt by a mob in February 2006. Both the Ahmadiyya and Shia communities have not been able to return to their homes and have lived in temporary accommodation since.

In 2008, the government issued a Joint Ministerial Decree, with up to five-years imprisonment for its violation, that prohibits the Ahmadiyya from promoting their activities and spreading their teachings. In September 2010, Indonesia’s former Minister of Religion, Suryadharma Ali, called for the Ahmadiyya to be banned. Local authorities have closed a number of Ahmadiyya places of worship including Depok (2017), Ciamis (June 2014) in Bekasi (May 2014) and Depok (December 2013). In February 2016, at least 12 members of the religious minority group Ahmadiyya, mostly women and children, were forced to leave their homes in Srimenanti village, Bangka Island, Bangka Belitung Islands province by the local district government on 5 February 2016 (see https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa21/3409/2016/en/). Amnesty International has repeatedly called for Indonesian authorities to repeal the Join Ministerial Decree (SKB) on Ahmadiyyah and allow them to practice their faith free from discrimination and fear of intimidation and attack.

The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Indonesian Constitution. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, states that “this right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” and that “no one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice”. In May 2017, during its Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council, the Indonesian government reaffirmed its commitment to protect persons belonging to religious minorities from violence and persecution and to address cases of religious intolerance. However, those who commit acts of violence against religious minorities are rarely punished and communities have been displaced by attacks.

As a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the government has an obligation to ensure the right of everyone to enjoy an adequate standard of living including adequate housing, which includes protection from forced evictions (Article 11.1) and the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (Article 12). In July 2013 the UN Human Rights Committee, an independent body of experts tasked with reviewing the implementation of the ICCPR expressed concern about the failure of the authorities to protect religious minorities against violent attacks. It urged the Indonesian authorities to take adequate steps to protect them as well as to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.