EU Parliament adopts resolution on attacks against minorities

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on human rights in Indonesia on 7 July, making reference to attacks on religious minorities such as Christians and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, according to a news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

The move by the European Parliament follows a resolution in the UK Parliament, a letter of concern signed by members of Congress in the US, and a resolution in the Swedish Parliament, all highlighting the violent persecution of minorities in Indonesia, said the release.

The European Parliament resolution expresses “grave concern at the incidents of violence against religious minorities, particularly Ahmadi Muslims, Christians, Baha’is and Buddhists…at the local blasphemy, heresy and religious defamation by-laws, which are open to misuse, and at the 2008 Joint Ministerial Decree prohibiting the dissemination of Ahmadiyya Muslim teachings,” calling on the Indonesian authorities to “repeal or revise them.”

According to the release, the resolution also applauds the work of civil society groups in Indonesia, including Muslim, Christian and secular think tanks, human rights organizations and counter-extremism organizations promoting religious freedom and human rights, and pledges support for those “actively promoting democracy, tolerance and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups.”

Mitro Repo, a Finnish member of the European Parliament, said “While Indonesia’s national ideology, ‘Pancasila,’ has been a great example of enshrining pluralism, cultural harmony, religious freedom and social justice, there is a deep concern that the blasphemy, heresy and religious defamation by-laws are open to misuse. Such laws do not have a place in a state that truly respects human rights and engages in an open dialogue with its civil society.” He added, “Indonesia should be open to cooperation with the international community so that emerging problems can be preempted.”

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