USCIRF Annual Report 2009 - The Commission's Watch List: Indonesia

Indonesia's transition to democracy since 1998 has contributed to an overall improvement in conditions for human rights in the country. The majority of Indonesia's diverse religious communities operate openly and with few restrictions, and there are vibrant public discussions among politicians and religious leaders about the role of religion in political life. However, over the past several years, minority religious groups have faced increased discrimination, harassment, and even violence perpetrated by extremist groups, state agencies, and community organizations and sometimes tolerated by segments of the Indonesian government. Indonesia was placed on the Commission's Watch List in 2002 due to sectarian violence in Central Sulawesi and the Malukus. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government continues to take active steps to address terrorism and past sectarian violence in these regions. The Commission remains concerned, however, about new government decrees used to severely restrict, and even ban, the activities of the Ahmadi community; forced closures and vandalism of places of worship belonging to religious minorities; the growth and political influence of religious extremists; human rights abuses perpetrated by the military and police; and the harassment and arrest of individuals considered "deviant" under Indonesian law. Because of these persistent concerns, the Commission continues to place Indonesia on its Watch List in 2009. Given the Obama Administration's interest in creating a new "comprehensive partnership" with Indonesia, there will be important opportunities to work together to advance the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion and related human rights in both Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region.

Islam in Indonesia is known historically for its tolerance and accommodation of a variety of indigenous cultural traditions. Over the past decade, there has been a revival of Islamic awareness and piety, previously repressed by the former military government. The wearing of Islamic dress has reemerged as an outward sign of devotion; the number of Islamic banks, businesses, and publications is growing; and Islamic-themed art and fiction are becoming more popular. Indonesian Muslim leaders have engaged in lively discussions on the nature of democracy and pluralism, the separation of religion and state, women's rights, and human rights more generally. There are numerous religiously-based political parties and the role of Islam in politics and society, as well as the growth of religiously-justified terrorism, are topics discussed widely on television and radio and in numerous public fora.

The revival of Islamic piety, coupled with Indonesia's new democratic openness, has strengthened Indonesia's mainstream Muslim institutions, but it also has nurtured a small but growing number of groups espousing intolerance and extremism under the banner of Islamic orthodoxy. Over the past several years, the influence, visibility, and activities of extremist groups have increased. Although the most radical groups do not have deep political support, as evidenced by initial results of the April 2009 parliamentary elections, they have successfully pressed their agenda both publicly and politically, pressuring government officials through private lobbying, demonstrations, threats, and mob action. The recent Joint Ministerial Decree on the Ahmadi and the Anti-Pornography Law, as well as the proliferation of local sharia-inspired laws in provincial areas, were supported actively by extremist groups to advance a certain religious agenda. Coalitions of moderate Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and other religious and civil society groups have opposed these measures, but without much recent success. In addition to the measures cited above, there continue to be a disturbing number of instances of societal violence targeting religious minorities and the intimidation, arrest, detention, and harassment of allegedly heterodox Muslims and some non-Muslims for allegedly "denigrating religion," "deviancy," or "blasphemy." Given that 2009 is an important election year in Indonesia, the full protection of religious freedom for all of Indonesia's diverse religious communities will be an important bellwether of Indonesia's commitment to democracy, religious tolerance, and pluralism.

In 2002, the Commission placed Indonesia on its Watch List after sectarian violence in Central Sulawesi and the Malukus claimed thousands of lives and displaced tens of thousands of others. The Commission remains concerned about ongoing sectarian tensions in these regions, but notes that religiously-motivated violence has declined sharply in recent years and police have arrested or killed – and local courts have sentenced or executed – individuals responsible for past acts of violence. Local civic and religious leaders and government officials, including Vice President Josef Kalla, have worked to promote reconciliation and defuse tensions in former conflict areas. The Indonesian Government reportedly has committed funds for local programs in conflict mediation and interfaith economic development. Local governments have instituted interfaith development projects to rebuild churches, mosques, and homes destroyed in past violence. According to the State Department's 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, police have arrested dozens of suspects, both Christians and Muslims, for past involvement in sectarian violence. Sectarian tensions, however, persisted in the Malukus during the past year. Isolated incidents of sectarian violence caused at least five deaths and the destruction of dozens of homes and religious venues in the region. Over the past year, the village of Horale on the island of Seram was attacked, leaving four dead and dozens injured. Police quickly named four suspects, but there is no indication that arrests have been made. In December 2008, police and military units were sent to calm tensions in Masohi, Northern Maluku as a mob burned houses and a church and injured dozens after a Christian teacher was accused of denigrating Islam in her classroom. Both the teacher and the leader of the mob were arrested. The local inter-religious harmony board (FKUB) criticized the police for not taking preventive action when the accusations against the teacher first surfaced. These incidents were the largest of several clashes between Christians and Muslims in the Malukus, including bomb blasts, fights, and drive-by shootings. Reports indicate that the police acted quickly in most cases. Local religious leaders also have condemned violence and jointly expressed their desire to avoid the type of large-scale violence that occurred between 1999 and 2002.

Extremist and terrorist groups continue to train, recruit, and operate in Central and South Sulawesi. These groups frequently have been responsible for attacks on members of religious minorities and police, instigating mob actions to restrict religious activities, and organizing political efforts to segregate Central Sulwesi into Muslim and Christian enclaves. Since widespread rioting and sectarian clashes in late 2007, there have been few new incidents of violence. The Indonesian government has taken active steps to promote stability, but tensions continue to exist in the region stoked by political and economic rivalries between Muslim and Christian elites. Police action has led to the arrest and sentencing of individuals who organized the beheading of three young girls in 2006. Police also have apprehended recently at least 10 others who confessed to participating in various bombings, beheadings, and shootings in Central Sulawesi over the past two years. Police in Central Sulawesi claim that they have arrested or killed 18 of the 29 individuals "most wanted" for sectarian violence in that region, including two individuals accused of the 2006 assassination of Reverend Irianto Kongkoli. However, despite some successes in rooting out suspected terrorists, police tactics, particularly those of an elite counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, may be exacerbating sectarian tensions in Sulawesi. Local religious leaders claim that Detachment 88's harsh tactics increased sympathy for extremists in Central Sulawesi and attracted religious militants from other regions. Many grievances remain from the sectarian conflict that occurred in 1999-2001, including fears that few of the instigators of the violence will be held accountable, and a large number of persons remain displaced. Extremist groups, such as Mujahidin Kompak (MK) and Tanah Runtuh continue to train and operate in remote areas of Sulawesi. The June 2007 arrest of suspected terrorist leader Abu Dujana confirmed that terrorist networks aim to stoke sectarian tensions in Central Sulawesi through bombings and assassinations of religious leaders.

The Indonesian government continues to make notable progress in capturing and prosecuting persons accused of specific terrorist activities, including individuals on the United States' most wanted list. In 2008, police raided a Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) compound in Central Sulawesi and arrested dozens of suspects including Ainul Bahri and Zuhroni, two top JI leaders. Ustadz Rian, one of the primary organizers of JI's terrorist operations, was killed during the raid. In April 2008, an Indonesian court officially declared JI a terrorist organization and sentenced its military commander, Abu Dujana, to 15 years imprisonment for stockpiling weapons, harboring fugitives, and committing terrorist violence. The court's decision could pave the way for the banning of JI in Indonesia, something that the Indonesian government has heretofore been reluctant to do. In January 2009 ten militants with ties to JI were tried for killing a Christian schoolteacher, illegally possessing explosives, harboring fugitives, and plotting to bomb a café. The primary suspect, Mohammad Hasan, a Singaporean English teacher, trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and served as a courier for Osama bin Laden in 2000.

Public support for terrorist organizations and tactics has declined dramatically in Indonesia since the 2005 Bali bombing. However, at the same time, the number and influence of groups pressing political and religious agendas under the banner of Islamic orthodoxy continues to grow. Though these groups are a small minority of Indonesia's diverse Muslim community, they are a challenge to Indonesia's image as a democracy committed to religious tolerance and pluralism. Mainstream Muslim leaders and members of religious minorities report that they continue to face pressure, intimidation, or sometimes violence from protests organized by extremist groups. According to the Indonesian Institute on Democracy and Peace (SETARA) and the Wahid Institute, two Indonesian think tanks tracking human rights conditions in the country, communal violence and the arrest and detention of predominantly Muslim individuals considered "deviant" under Indonesia law have expanded in recent years, and mob violence targeting the Ahmadi community and some Christian religious venues also have continued to increase. Members of extremist religious groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the Indonesian Council of Martyrs (MMI), the Alliances for Anti-Apostates (AGAP), the Islamic Umat Forum (FUI), and Laskar Jundullah have used pressure, intimidation, and violence against those whose views or actions they found unacceptable. Their actions have included intimidating judges and local officials; vandalizing and destroying buildings belonging to religious minorities, including Christian churches, Hindu temples, and Ahmadi and Shi'a mosques; threatening moderate Muslims or those considered to have "deviant" theological views; and forcing the closure of some non-Muslim businesses during Ramadan. The Indonesian government does not officially condone or encourage societal violence by extremist groups and has sometimes spoken out strongly against it. Nevertheless, perpetrators of violence are not always arrested by local officials, provincial laws that differ from national laws concerning the protection of religious minorities are not challenged, and the government continues to provide funds for the Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society (Bakor Pacem) and the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI), both which have called for action to ban "deviant" religious groups and other peaceful religious activities, including interfaith prayer, interfaith marriage, religious pluralism, and yoga.

In the past year, according to Indonesian religious groups and human rights activists, there have been at least 35 separate incidents of mob action targeting the worship activities, venues, or activities of religious groups and organizations. Members of the Ahmadi Muslim religious minority continue to experience the most severe restrictions. Violence and legal restrictions targeting the Ahmadi have risen dramatically since the July 2005 fatwa by the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) that condemned them as a heretical sect. Since the MUI fatwa was issued, extremist groups, some religious leaders, and the government's Coordinating Board for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in Society (Bakor Pakem) have sought a nationwide ban on Ahmadi practice. In June 2008, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Home Ministry issued a Joint Ministerial Letter on the Restriction of Ahmadi. While not an outright ban, the Joint Ministerial letter "froze" their activities to private worship and prohibited them from proselytizing, although it also outlawed vigilantism against them. Following the decree, provincial governors in West Sumatra, South Sumatra, and West Nusa Tenngarra issued outright bans on Ahmadi activity. The National Commission of the Indonesian Human Rights (Komnas-HAM) issued a report condemning atrocities against Ahmadi in the past, blaming the MUI fatwa for trigging the violence and some governmental officials for helping to implement the fatwa. The Indonesian government has not yet signaled whether it will review or overturn the provincial bans under the authority granted it by the 2000 Regional Autonomy Law.

The SETARA Institute tallied 188 incidents of violence and "religious intolerance" targeting the Ahmadi since January 2008, including the vandalizing or closure of 20 mosques and other facilities owned by the Ahmadi community. On April 28, 2008, a mob attacked and tried to burn down a house where members of the Ahmadi religious group were meeting in Sukabumi, Curug district, West Java. During April 2008, four additional Ahmadi meeting places were vandalized in West Java. Police arrested and interrogated several suspects and are reportedly now guarding Ahmadi mosques in the region. In June 2008, mobs attacked Ahmadi mosques in Cianjur, West Java and forcibly closed the local Ahmadi headquarters in Makassar, South Sulawesi. There continue to be at least 180 Ahmadi residents living in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Mataram, Lombok after a mob attacked their residences in 2005. They have not been allowed to return to their homes and some have indicated that they want to seek asylum. On June 1, 2008, the National Alliance for the Freedom of Religion and Faith (AKKBB) held a rally in Jakarta to support the right of the Ahmadi to exist free from persecution. The rally was attacked by members of the FPI, and more than 70 people were injured, some seriously. Reports indicate that approximately 1,200 police were present during the attacks, but they neither stopped the violence nor arrested anyone at the scene. President Yudhoyono condemned the FPI attack and police arrested 10 suspects, including FPI chief Rizieq Shibab and chair Munarman, who were given 18 month sentences for inciting the June 1 attacks.

The restrictions and violence faced by the Ahmadi community reflect a larger trend in Indonesia, as provincial officials have harassed, detained, and sentenced allegedly hereterodox Muslims for "deviancy." Since 2003, over 150 individuals have been arrested or briefly detained under Article 156a of the criminal code, according to which "expressing feelings of hostility, hatred or contempt against religions" and "disgracing a religion" are punishable by up to five years in jail. Over the past two years, police and local officials have taken concerted actions to break up the sect Al-Qiyadah al-Islamiyah. The group has approximately 40,000 followers and its leaders claim to be prophets. In October and November 2007, police detained 125 members of Al-Qiyadah during raids in West Lombok, Yogyakarta, East Lombok, and Central Java. Ninety six members of Al-Qiyadah publically signed documents renouncing their beliefs, including the sect's leader, Ahmad Moshaddeq. Despite his recantation, Moshaddeq was sentenced to four years in prison in April 2008 for "violating the criminal code by committing blasphemous acts." On May 2, 2008, Dedi Priadi and Gerry Lufthi Yudistira, members of al-Qiyadah al-Islamiyah sect, were sentenced in Padang district court to three years in prison under Article 156a. Over the past several years, other small, primarily "messianic" Muslim groups were labeled "deviant" by local religious leaders and faced government harassment or communal violence, including Dzikir Asmaul Husa, Dayak Segandhu Losarang Indramayu, Tarekat Naqsabandiyah, Islam Model Baru, Hidup di Balik Hidup, and Nural Yaqin.

In the past, Indonesia's "deviancy laws" primarily have targeted small groups regarded as heterodox by Muslim religious leaders. However, in April 2007, police in Malang, East Java detained 42 Protestants for disseminating a "prayer" video that instructs individuals to put the Koran on the ground and pray for the conversion of Indonesia's Muslim political leaders. In September 2007, a local court found all 42 guilty of "insulting religion" and sentenced each to five years in prison. An appeal of the convictions is pending in the East Java High Court.

Indonesia's Christians and other religious minorities faced additional societal violence in the past year, including mob attacks, harassment, and church closures. However, the number of church closures and mob attacks were slightly fewer than in the past. In July 2008, armed residents in Kampun Pulo District of West Jakarta attacked the Arastamar Evangelical School of Theology, known as Setia College, because they claimed students were responsible for a recent spate of petty thefts and public disturbances. The students and faculty deny these allegations. The police refused to intervene and 20 students were injured. Staff and students were forced to evacuate and the campus remains closed. In August 2008, Father Benny Susetyo, the General Secretary of the Interreligious Commission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference and an outspoken advocate for religious freedom for the Ahmadi community, was severely beaten by unknown assailants. In January 2008 in Madura province, villagers surrounded the house of Shi'a followers demanding they stop religious activities. Local officials and religious leaders intervened to disperse the crowd. In recent years, Shi'a communities in East Java and Madura faced attacks, vandalism, threats, and legal actions. In January 2008, a mob burned the Sangkareang Hindu temple in Keru district, West Lombok, destroying the building and its contents. As of this writing, the temple has not received a permit to rebuild. That same month, the Love Evangelical Bethel Church in Riau province, North Sumatra ceased its services after 60 Muslim protestors demanded it be closed.

In some cases, police have arrested individuals responsible for vandalizing or destroying property of minority religious groups and have intervened to prevent property destruction and disperse crowds. But mob violence remains too frequent and punishments of perpetrators too infrequent to act as a deterrent. Local government officials also have sought to mediate between militant groups and religious minorities in some cases, but sometimes acquiesce to pressure from militants and revoke permits for longstanding places of worship or allow the destruction of religious venues operating without permits. In response to persistent criticism from religious minorities and international observers over the number of religious venues closed or destroyed in Indonesia, the Ministry of Religion issued Joint Ministerial Decree 1/2006 to replace a previous, vaguely-worded decree that required religious groups to gain "community approval" before they could expand, renovate, or open new religious venues. Decree 1/2006 requires a religious group with a membership of more than 90 persons to obtain the support of 60 local residents for any plans to build or expand a religious venue. That petition must then be sent to the Joint Forum for Religious Tolerance (FKUB), a provincial panel of religious leaders chosen proportionally by the number of religious adherents in the province. If there remains strong community opposition to the religious venue, the FKUB can find an alternative location.

At the time, critics of the decree claimed that it was designed to stop the proliferation of "house churches" and small Hindu temples (of fewer than 90 members). Prominent Muslim religious leaders have stated publicly that the new decree might violate Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Overall, the number of church, temple, and mosque closures has declined slightly since Joint Ministerial Decree 1/2006 was issued. In addition, over the past year, the Ministry of Religion has made efforts to establish provincial FKUB panels. Former President Abdurrahman Wahid has commended the "sincere efforts" of FKUB panels to promote religious tolerance, but added that without sufficient "control, evaluation, monitoring ... and sanctions" the panels can be "used to promote the interests of the majority religion." Indeed, despite the existence of FKUB panels, Hindu and Christian groups report that they are sometimes refused building permits even though they have accumulated the necessary signatures. For example, five Protestant churches in North Bekasi, Jabotabek region, East Jakarta continue to face vandalism and sporadic protests from the group Musholla (Cooperating Bureau of Mosques and Praying Rooms) because they meet in private homes. Although police continue to protect the worship activities of these groups, local officials have refused to grant them permission to build permanent structures, despite their having met the criteria established in the 2006 decree. A similar situation occurred in South Rawa Badak, Koja region, North Jakarta in August 2008, when local officials pressured the pastor of a Protestant church to cease worship activities, despite his having received permission from the FKUB to operate the church.

The Commission continues to monitor the implementation of sharia in Aceh. In August 2005, the Indonesian government concluded a comprehensive peace agreement with the insurgent group Free Aceh Movement (GAM), ending a 30year conflict that had resulted in significant human rights abuses. The agreement led to a newly elected government and hope for a region hard hit by the tsunami and decades of civil conflict. However, neither the peace agreement nor the elections overturned Presidential Decree 11/2003, which allowed the province to establish and implement sharia law and establish sharia courts. Since the end of the civil war, sharia courts and their vice patrols, locally known as the Wilayatul Hisbah, have taken on a prominent public profile, enforcing dress codes and banning alcohol consumption, gambling, and unchaperoned liaisons between the opposite sex. The jurisdiction of sharia courts and the power of the Wilayatul Hisbah are controversial issues for the new Acehnese government. Local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Aceh report that government oversight of Wilayatul Hisbah has improved recently, making the vice patrols less intrusive than in the past. In addition, the new Acehnese government disbanded vice patrols in the city of Banda Aceh and civil courts gradually are taking up case loads previously heard in sharia courts. The number of public canings in Aceh decreased from 90 to 36 in the past year, all related to gambling. Political parties that won an estimated 80% of the vote in regional elections in April 2009 promised to de-emphasize the continuation of sharia in Aceh and instead to fully implement the Helsinki Peace Accords granting Aceh political autonomy, except in international relations, defense, fiscal and monetary policy, and religious affairs, which would be managed in Jakarta.

The expansion of sharia in Aceh has influenced local initiatives elsewhere in Indonesia. Efforts to implement sharia provisions nationally consistently have been defeated by a coalition of the largest Muslim organizations together with religious minorities. However, some provinces and localities are enforcing Islamic law at the municipal and regional levels. Indonesian NGOs estimate that at least 66 perda syaria, or local sharia laws, have been promulgated and enforced in the past five years. According to the International Center for Islam and Pluralism, an Indonesian think tank, half of Indonesia's 32 provinces have enacted sharia-inspired laws. In South Sulawesi, Madura, and West Sumatra, local authorities issued laws enforcing Islamic dress, prohibiting alcohol, and imposing public caning punishments. In Madura and South Sulawesi, civil servants are required to cease work activities during the call to prayer, and recitation of the Koran reportedly is being required for promotion. In Padang, West Sumatra, the local mayor instructed all schoolgirls, regardless of their religion, to wear a headscarf. In Bulukumba regency, any woman not wearing a headscarf can be denied government services. Similar laws have already been implemented in parts of West Java, including Cianjur, Tasikmalaya, and Garut. In the city of Tangerang, Banten province, local laws have banned both Muslims and non-Muslims from public displays of affection, alcohol consumption, and prostitution. The anti-prostitution ban is being challenged in Indonesian courts because it defines a prostitute as anyone who draws attention to himself or herself by attitude, behavior, or dress or any woman found "loitering" alone on the street after 10 pm. In the past year, according to the State Department, 31 women were arrested as prostitutes, including a married mother waiting alone at a bus stop during the early evening.

Recently, 56 Indonesian parliamentarians issued a petition calling for a review of local sharia-inspired laws to determine if they violate constitutional protections and national laws. Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto announced that there was no need to review or overturn most sharia-inspired laws, although the Indonesian government promised to review 37 ordinances deemed discriminatory and at odds with the constitution. However, this review is not likely to be completed until after the 2009 election season.

Indonesian human rights advocates have expressed fears that local perda syaria ordinances are a backdoor attempt to implement sharia nationally and may be used to mobilize political support for the more extremist Muslim political parties during the 2009 elections. These laws also could threaten Indonesia's fragile political consensus supporting pluralism, tolerance, and democracy. The head of Indonesia's Constitutional Court, Dr. Mohammad Mahfud, recently told the Jakarta Post that, in his view, all perda syaria laws should be overturned because they promote religious intolerance, particularly against minorities, violate the constitution, and "threaten ... national integrity."

Recommendations for U.S. Policy

U.S. assistance to Indonesia currently supports programs in conflict resolution, multi-religious dialogue and tolerance, pluralism, public diplomacy, and education that are in line with recommendations made by the Commission in previous years. During a February 2009 visit to Indonesia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for establishing a "comprehensive partnership" between the United States and Indonesia. To advance that partnership, the Commission recommends that the U.S. government create a bilateral human rights dialogue with the government of Indonesia and discuss issues regarding the protection and promotion of religious freedom and related human rights, including:

  • urging the Indonesian government to overturn the Joint Ministerial Decree on the Ahmadi, fully protect the ability of religious minority communities to freely practice in ways consistent with the Indonesian constitution and international law, arrest or hold accountable any individual who organizes, allows or participates in violence or harassment of religious communities, and amend or overturn any provincial or local laws or practice inconsistent with Indonesia's constitution or international human right standards, including Article 156a of the Penal Code;
  • urging the Indonesian government to amend the Joint Ministerial Decree No. 1/2006 (Regulation on Building Houses of Worship) to bring it into compliance with the Indonesian constitution's protection of religious freedom as well as international standards, remove any restrictive barriers on building and refurbishing places of worship for all religious groups in Indonesia, expand the role of provincial Joint Forums for Religious Tolerance (FKUB), and provide protection for religious venues, as well as restitution to religious communities whose venues have been destroyed or closed due to mob violence or protests, and ensure that those responsible for such acts are prosecuted;
  • supporting Indonesia's evolving legal and human rights reform agenda by providing training, capacity building, and targeted exchanges with Indonesian government agencies, legal and judicial institutions, and legal and human rights-focused civil society organizations, including the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the Supreme Court, and the Directorate General of Human Rights in the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights;
  • expanding exchange programs that bring Indonesian scholars, judges, lawyers, and activists to the United States to initiate discussions with governmental, academic, and non-governmental experts on human rights, including religious freedom, rule of law, and the relationship between religion and the state;
  • establishing programs to support monitoring of the implementation of sharia law in Aceh and other parts of Indonesia to determine if individual rights and freedoms, including religious freedom, are being guaranteed for all citizens, and making sure that U.S. humanitarian and foreign assistance programs do not support sharia police or courts in Aceh or other municipalities in Indonesia;
  • establishing programs that promote training and capacity-building for Indonesian human rights-focused civil society organizations involved in programs of building multi-religious coalitions to promote legal, political, and economic programs consistent with Indonesia's constitution and international human rights standards;
  • prioritizing financial support for NGOs and human rights-focused civil society organizations pursuing programs on inter-religious economic development, conflict prevention and social cohesion, and the resettlement of internally displaced persons, and public interest law in potential flashpoint areas such as Central Sulawesi, the Malukus, Papua, or parts of West Java;
  • expanding U.S. government support for the promotion of religious pluralism in Indonesia by supporting seminars and conferences, international exchanges, intra-religious dialogue, and new radio, television, and publishing activities of interfaith and private organizations that promote respect for religious freedom and human rights; and
  • expanding support for media, dialogue, and publishing ventures of Indonesian organizations seeking to promote intra-Muslim dialogue on the compatibility of Islam and human rights, democracy, and pluralism, including the translation of books by prominent Indonesian scholars into, as appropriate, Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Turkish, and English.

In addition, as part of U.S.-Indonesian counter-terrorism cooperation, the U.S. should ensure that any future ties with the Indonesian military and police should include, as priorities:

  • reform of the Indonesian military, including transfer to civilian control, training in international human rights standards, and technical assistance in military law and tribunals;
  • transfer or removal from Papua, the Malukus, or Central Sulawesi any security, police, and militia personnel indicted for activities related to serious human rights abuses and war crimes by the UN's Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (SCIU) and the Ad Hoc Human Rights Court for East Timor in Jakarta;
  • dedicated funds for training Indonesian police in counter-terrorism techniques and protecting human rights in areas of sectarian conflict, including fellowships to the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, Thailand and participation in UN Police training programs (UNPOL); and
  • denial of U.S. assistance, training, or visas for any police or military unit or security agency personnel found to have engaged in violations of human rights.

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