An Indonesian man wounded when Muslim hard-liners attacked members of his minority Islamic sect was sentenced Monday to six months in jail, more than some of the actual attackers who were caught on video.
Human rights groups blasted the ruling as encouraging growing religious intolerance in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets
The Serang District Court said Deden Sudjana – whose hand was nearly severed by a machete – resisted police orders to leave the scene and then attacked one of the leaders of the mob that killed three members of the Ahmadiyah sect. […]
So far, 12 members of the mob have been convicted. Their relatively lenient sentences of just three to six months set a chilling message about growing religious intolerance in Indonesia, said Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch.
He said the decision to punish one of the victims will only encourage more violence by hard-liners.
Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim and secular nation of 240 million, has a long history of religious tolerance.
But a small, extremist fringe has grown more vocal in recent years and is seeking – with some success – to impose its will on police, the judicial system and the government.
The Jakarta Globe says Deden Sujana, the former head of security for the Indonesian Ahmadiyah Congregation
is accused of triggering the attack in February in Cikeusik, Banten, by disobeying police orders to leave the scene.
He was among 20 Ahmadis who came to protect the home of an Ahmadiyah leader in Cikeusik following rumors that locals wanted to forcibly disband the sect in the area.
The brutal attack involving about 1,500 hard-liners from surrounding villages left three Ahmadis dead and five seriously injured, including Deden.
Presiding judge Sumartono said Deden, the only Ahmadi to be tried in relation to the attack, was found guilty of breaching the Criminal Code Article 351 (1) on physical abuse.
Judges also charged Deden with Article 212 on acts against the state, despite the fact that prosecutors had dismissed the article from their indictment.
“The defendant did not obey an order from a police officer who told him to leave the house,” Sumartono said, referring to a testimony from police officer Hasanuddin.
Before the riot began on the morning of February 6, Hasanuddin allegedly told Deden and another 20 Ahmadis to leave their homes in Cikeusik. Deden, however, declined and said he wanted to protect his property.
“The police officer was speaking as a representative of the state. He was the officer in charge,” Sumartono said.
“We charged him because of his disobedience,” he said.
Note: It is the policy of Religion News Blog to file stories regarding acts of hatred committed by Muslims in defense of Islam under the ‘Hate Groups’ topic.