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Jakarta Post

Government to prevent radicalization in prisons

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, February 5, 2016   /  09:52 am
Government to prevent radicalization in prisons

A terrorist captured by a Tempo photographer is seen pulling out his gun and firing shots after blasts rocked the Jl. MH Thamrin area in Central Jakarta on Jan. 14. National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti said on Friday that the terrorist was Sunakim, alias Afif, a repeat offender who was sentenced to seven years in prison for involvement in military training in Aceh in 2010. (Tempo/Aditia Noviansyah)

Based on the assumption that prisons accommodating convicted terrorists may be fertile ground for radicalization, the government has introduced measures to curb the spread of radical teaching among inmates, a minister says.

Now, for example, prisoners housed at Nusakambangan in Central Java have been divided into three groups: ideologists, militants and sympathizers, said Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Panjaitan.

"This has been done so that there is no more lecturing can occur during imprisonment," he added in Jakarta on Thursday.

The measure was taken after the government learned of the alleged role of Nusakambangan prison inmates in the recent Jakarta attack that killed eight people.

Apart from continuing to manage convicted terrorists, Luhut said, the government would also carry out deradicalization programs within society.

To curb the spread of radical ideologies, he demanded that Muslim organizations like the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Nadlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah play a continuous role.

The minister, however, stressed the need for a comprehensive approach in dealing with terrorism.

He said that economic disparity and hardship are triggering factors in acts of terrorism, making some more vulnerable to radical ideologies.

Luhut said that the Islamic State (IS) organization appeals to its potential recruits with what could be described as an alluring offer as antidote to their economic situation.  "[IS] continuously offers 'one way of life' to recruit new members," Luhut said on Thursday as quoted on tempo.co.

There is a need for an overall amendment in every sector of the economy, he added. The government is currently focusing on strengthening the economy with the aim of reducing inequality through programs such as village development and the construction of infrastructure. Luhut said these programs intend to push economic growth and thus reduce terrorism.

In combating terrorism, he said that it was important to simultaneously conduct both a soft and hard approach to ensure effectiveness because doing only one or the other proves to be useless. (liz/bbn)(+)

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