An open letter to Indonesian President
Posted on June 2nd, 2012

By I. Ahmad

 2 June 2012.

Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
The President of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat

 Dear Mr. President,

Peace be on you.

 INDONESIA: Ahmadiyya Muslim members in Batam are threatened, ill-treated and illegally arrested with the acquiescence of the police

Name of affected community: Ahmadiyya Muslim group in Batam
Name of victims: Nasrun, Suwandi, Arief
Names of alleged perpetrators: Members of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Batam, Head Deputy of the Community Empowerment Unit of Barelang District Police
Date of incident: 27 April 2012
Place of incident: Batam

 I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the intimidations and threats directed by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) against Ahmadi Muslims in Batam. I received the information saying on 27 April 2012 the members of FPI came to Ruko Nagoya where some of Ahmadiyya Batam’s members conduct their religious and organisational activities. The FPI members beat Mubaligh Nasrun, the leader of Ahmadiyah in that place, on his head with a broomstick that the stick got broken. Mubaligh Nasrun was also subject to beatings and threats. The FPI members also took away all the books, Qurans and pictures of the Fourth Khalifah of Ahmadiyya Community before finally took Mubaligh Nasrun and two other Ahmadiyah members, Suwandi and Arief, to the Barelang District Police Station.

It is learnt that, at the police station, the three Ahmadiyah members received further intimidation and threats. The FPI demanded the police to detain Mubaligh Nasrun, Suwandi and Arief or to close down Ruko Nagoya therefore stopping the Ahmadiyah from conducting their religious activities there. Another option which was offered by the FPI was that for Mubaligh Nasrun, Suwandi and Arief to declare that they are no longer part of Ahmadiyah. The Deputy Head of Community Empowerment of Barelang District Police, Kompol Suyanto, was present during this “ƒ”¹…”negotiation’ process yet he did not take any measures to stop the intimidation directed against the Ahmadiyah members. The Head of Batam Religious Tolerance Forum (Forum Kerukunan Umat Beragama, FKUB), a representative of the Indonesian Ulema Council (Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI) and the Head of Jamaah Ahmadiyah Indonesia (JAI) in Batam were later asked to come to police station. The intimidation and threats against the Ahmadiyah members were continued that the Head of JAI Batam was left with no option but to sign an agreement saying that the Ahmadiyah members will not hold any activities in Ruko Nagoya anymore.

I am deeply concerned with the fact that the police had not taken any measures to stop and prevent the intimidation directed by the FPI against Ahmadiyah in Batam. I am aware that what FPI has done against the Ahmadiyah in this case amounted to crimes thus should be punished under the Indonesian Penal Code. As far as I am concerned, since the FPI is not a part of law enforcement officials in Indonesia, its act taking Mubaligh Nasrun and other Ahmadiyah members to the police station should be considered as abduction and an unlawful deprivation of liberty. I am also aware that taking somebody’s properties are considered as theft under Article 362 of the Penal Code that FPI members who took away the books and Qurans from Ruko Nagoya should be tried and punished in accordance with the law. The intimidation and threats directed by the FPI to the Ahmadiyah members should be treated as a crime as prohibited by Article 336 of the Penal Code which carries a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment.

One of the main duties of the Indonesian police is to protect the members of the society without any discrimination. Therefore, I urge you to ensure that the police and other law enforcement officials providing adequate protection towards the Ahmadiyah in Batam and other parts of Indonesia. Those who committed violence, threats, intimidations or any other crimes against the Ahmadiyah should be tried and punished in accordance with the law. I also urge you to repeal any laws and policies which discriminate minorities in Indonesia, including the 2008 Joint Decree of the Religious Affair Minister, the Attorney General and the Home Minister that bans the activities of Ahmadiyah in Indonesia.

I look forward to seeing your swift, effective and adequate responses in this matter.

I.             Ahmad.

Sri Lanka.

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