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Jakarta Post

Indonesian refugees in Syria: Are they IS sympathizers, stateless or citizens?

  • Ko Lyn Cheang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 21, 2019   /  04:39 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Showing loyalty – Hundreds of students of Islamic boarding schools listen attentively President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s remarks during a Maulid Nabi celebration in Pekalongan, Central Java, on Jan. 8 while they display red-and-white colored banners emblazoned with a message “NKRI Harga Mati” (The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is Undisputed). (JP/Suherdjoko)

In 2016, a video of Indonesian Islamic State (IS) followers setting fire to their green passports was released by the terrorist organization. The action might represent a symbolic severing of ties to Indonesia, but whether this actually means they should lose their Indonesian citizenship is another matter. The question of the citizenship status of Indonesians who travel to Syria to join IS is becoming increasingly urgent. In Kurdish-governed Rojava in northeastern Syria, thousands of individuals who are taking refuge or being detained for their links to the fallen movement languish in what the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president has described as a “humanitarian emergency”. The ICRC estimates that 73,400 individuals are currently being held in al-Hol, a camp that was designed to hold up to 10,000 people. It is believed that around 50 Indonesians ...