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Jakarta Post

Blasphemy law, a shackle to the Indonesian people

  • Tobias Basuki

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 11 2010   /  11:16 am

Indonesia, the third-largest democracy in the world, may be facing gloomy days ahead. In December 2009, the late former president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid led a coalition of civil society organizations in filing a judicial review against the archaic blasphemy law (PNPS No. 1/1965). A move to abolish this problematic law would expectedly further consolidate Indonesia’s democracy, freedom and harmony.

Unfortunately there is strong resistance from the government and several religious and social groups against this move. Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali and Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar officially rejected this judicial review.

On Feb. 4, Suryadharma Ali met with leaders of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) to talk about the judicial review.

This is an unbelievably disappointing move by a governmen...