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Ahmadiyah Attack Trial Begins Under Heavy Security
Jakarta Globe | April 26, 2011
The opening trial for 12 men facing charges in relation to the deadly attack on an Ahmadiyah community in Cikeusik, Banten, started under tight security on Tuesday at the Serang District Court.
More than a thousand police officers were deployed to stand guard within a 200-meter radius from the court. Two water cannons and three Barracuda armored vehicles were also on stand by.
“We deployed 1,095 officers,” Banten Police’s head of operations, Sr. Comr. Budiarto, was quoted as saying by the National Police Web site.
All those attending the hearing were required to go through three baggage checks and no private vehicles were allowed in the court parking lot.
Prosecutors were scheduled on Tuesday to read the indictments of the 12 defendants in bloody Feb. 6 incident that left three Ahmadis dead and five severely injured.
The attack, which was filmed and posted on YouTube, saw a mob of about a thousand attacking a house that sheltered 25 members of the minority Islamic sect.
Human Rights Watch has issued a statement urging authorities to provide full protection for everyone attending the trial.
“For the Cikeusik trial to be a step toward ending religious violence in Indonesia, the police need to ensure the security of everyone in the courtroom,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“Witnesses brave enough to testify, as well as judges and prosecutors, should not have to face intimidation.”