European Parliament adopts resolution on human rights in Indonesia

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution on human rights in Indonesia, which makes reference to attacks on religious minorities such as Christians and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

The move last week by the European Parliament follows a resolution in the UK Parliament, which has been signed by 38 MPs so far, a letter of concern signed by members of Congress in the US and a resolution in the Swedish Parliament, all highlighting the violent persecution of minorities in Indonesia.

The European Parliament resolution expresses “grave concern at the incidents of violence against religious minorities, particularly Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Baha’ís and Buddhists … at the local blasphemy, heresy and religious defamation by-laws, which are open to misuse, and at the 2008 Joint Ministerial Decree prohibiting the dissemination of Ahmadiyya Muslim teachings”, calling on the Indonesian authorities to “repeal or revise them.”

The resolution also applauds the work of civil society groups in Indonesia, including Muslim, Christian and secular think tanks, human rights organisations and counter-extremism organisationsin promoting religious freedom and human rights. It pledges support for those “actively promoting democracy, tolerance and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups.”

Finnish MEP Mitro Repo, Member of the European Parliament S&D group, said: “While Indonesia’s national ideology ‘Pancasila’ has been a great example of enshrining pluralism, cultural harmony, religious freedom and social justice, there is a deep concern that the blasphemy, heresy and religious defamation by-laws are open to misuse. Such laws do not have a place in a State that truly respects human rights and engages in an open dialogue with its civil society.”

He added, “Indonesia should be open to co-operation with the international community so that emerging problems can be pre-empted.”

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