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Government to Simplify Disbanding Mass Organizations
Camelia Pasandaran | February 19, 2011
Little boy sells “Suara Islam” (“Islamic Voice”) tabloid during the FPI rally at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle on Friday. (Beritasatu Photo/Ulin Yusron)
Mamuju, West Sulawesi. In response to concerns over attacks on minority religious groups, the government is drafting a law that will make it easier to disband violent mass organizations, according to Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi.
“We’re revising the law, and this year it will be part of the national legislation program,” Gamawan told the Jakarta Globe on Saturday. “The new law is expected to be more strict and to shorten the time it takes to disband an organization.”
Under the current Mass Organization Law, there is a lengthy process required of collecting evidence of illegal behavior, followed by freezing the organization before disbanding it.
In increasingly harsh language, groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) have issued ultimatums to the government demanding the disbanding of the minority Ahmadiyah sect and a halt to the building of Christian churches in many areas. Critics have said the FPI and others incite their followers to violence.
On Friday, FPI chairman Habib Riziq sadi in his weekly sermon that “Ahmadiyah must not exist in Indonesia.” He warned that unless the president forces Ahmadiyah out of existence there would be “revolution.”
Gamawan said that under the current law the government cannot not easily disband an organization, including ones like the FPI that plan to oust the president.
“It needs evidence, because if we did it without evidence, the government would be blamed for violating the law,” Gamawan said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recently called for the disbanding of violent organization following the deadly Feb. 6 attack on Ahmadiyah in West Java and a mob attack two days later in Central Java that burned churches.
Gamawan said the new law would give the government more authority to disband violent organizations quickly.