PRESS RELEASE: IHRC extremely concerned at recent sectarian events in Indonesia


After the recent attack on Shia minorities in Sampang province the spate of attacks and oppressive behaviour have continued. IHRC condemns the sentencing of four years of Imam Tajul Maluk. There was no evidence against him and the verdict seems to be based on sectarian discrimination, something which is being reflected in certain parts of the countries as can be seen by the recent sectarian attacks.
IHRC also finds it deeply distressing that a displaced mother from the Sampang village was forced to give birth in a regional hospital and has to incur the emergency costs.  This is at a time when several hundred villagers are forced to live in a sports centre with limited food and water. The government should be taking care of the victims of sectarian attacks, not forcing further debts upon them.
IHRC is also concerned after a mob attacked a Sufi teacher in East Java. The Sufi teacher, Habib Ali bin Umar Al-Habsyi, was attacked for allegedly teaching Shia teachings.  He has denied this and categorically stated that he is a Sunni.
The above series of events are alarm bells for the Indonesian government of an increase in sectarianism for what has been traditionally a very tolerant and welcoming society.
Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said, “This sectarianism is not indigenous to Indonesian society and is a result of outside interference.”
Notes to Editors

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1. the supreme court had already decided on Tajul Muluk’s appeal. it rejected the appeal and sentenced Tajul four years prison.
2. on 18 January 2013,at 10.15 am, a baby was born from displaced mother. He was born in regional hospital. The parent must bear the hospital cost they do not have health insurance and also the emergency period has expired.
3. A mob in Puger, Jember, East Java attacked a house belonging to Sufi teacher and also the head of Darus Solihin Islamic school, Habib Ali bin Umar Al-Habsyi, on 16 January 2013. They accused the Sufi teacher preaching Siah teachings to the community.

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