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Indonesian court sentences mob attack victim to prison SERANG - A Muslim sect member was sentenced on Monday to six months in prison for disobeying police and violent assault in a deadly mob attack perpetrated against him and other Ahmadiyah members, The Jakarta Globe reported on Tuesday.

On February 6, three men were killed and five were seriously injured when about 1,500 hardliners attacked a dozen Ahmadiyah members who were defending the home of local Ahmadiyah leader Suparman in the Cikeusik subdistrict of Pandeglang in Banten province.

Deden Sujana, who was among those injured, was convicted of inciting violence, obstruction of justice and disobedience. Allegedly, police had ordered Sujana and the other Ahmadi followers to evacuate the house and he repeatedly ignored these warnings.

The Serang District Court found Sujana guilty of disobedience and violent assault, a charge for which he was not earlier convicted. Accordingly, Sujana was charged for violent assault because he hit one of the hardliners, Idris bin Mahdani, during the attack.

The court cleared Sujana of the more serious charge of inciting hatred and lowered the corresponding sentence because the judges said he was a victim himself. "I would like to say that this [verdict] could set a bad precedent because I, the victim, am sentenced in a trial held under political pressure," Sujana, former head of security for the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation (JAI), said.

"It's a major failure for Indonesia, not providing protection for religious freedom. We are tired of people chanting Allahu Akbar and then killing others," Deden said. "Religious freedom is granted by the Constitution: I have my religion, you have yours."

So far, 12 of the attackers have been sentenced to three and six month imprisonments for minor offences. No one has been charged for murder.

Bonar Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of the Setara Institute for Freedom and Democracy, called the Cikeusik trials a failure of the justice system. "The system has failed and has given rise to horizontal conflicts," Bonar told the Jakarta Globe. "The Cikeusik hearings are ironic in that sense."

Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, called the verdict "appalling" and said it "smacks of injustice." She pointed out the minor sentences the perpetrators of the deadly assault were given.

"It seems like Ahmadiyah faces blatant discrimination, not just from Islamic militant mobs, but also from an Indonesian court," Pearson said. "The outcome of these trials shows that the Indonesian government should clean up its justice system."

Discrimination against Ahmadiyah members is not uncommon in Indonesia. In March, the religious group was officially banned by the West Java provincial government, calling them a 'devious sect.' From 2007 to 2010 there were 342 attacks on Ahmadiyah members in the region.


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Posted in Oddly enough ... @ 16 August 2011 02:31 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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