Weak Sentencing Threatens Religious Freedom for Minorities in Indonesia

On February 6, 2011 Islamic millitants attacked a village in Indonesia killing three people and gravely injuring five others. The villagers consider themselves Muslims but theirs is a minority Islamic sect and the militants do not consider them Muslims. Twelve were arrested for the crime but police did not fully investigate the attack and prosecutors sought reduced sentences. The result is a trial that "sends the chilling message that attacks on minorities ... will be treated lightly by the legal system,” says Human Rights Watch. Rather than seeing the state protecting minorities, ". . . these sentences will embolden militants who will see that using deadly violence brings few consequences”, the organization added.

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