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Press Release
   
 
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Attacks on the National Alliance for the Freedom of Faith and Religion (AKKBB) by the Islamic Defense Front (FPI)

June 1, 2008 – Many supporters of the National Alliance for the Freedom of Faith and  Religion (AKKBB) gathered for a peaceful demonstration in Monas, intending to commemorate Pancasila’s Day with the theme “One Indonesia for All.”  However, before the demonstration could begin, the Islamic Defense Front (FPI) descended upon the group and attacked a number of supporters.  The attacking members of the FPI wore black disguises and were armed with swords, spears, and sand (which they threw into the eyes of AKKBB supporters).  As they descended upon the demonstration, the FPI members yelled, “you are Ahamadiyah, Allahu Akbar.”

As the incident began, the Jakarta police provided no defense for the AKKBB supporters.  One police officer fled the scene after his car was attacked by a member of the FPI while others failed to react when threatened by the FPI.

After the initial attack, AKKBB supporters fled the demonstration area, resulting in multiple injuries, including 32 individuals sent to the hospital.  Many of the individuals present for the demonstration were women and children.  The police eventually intervened and stopped the FPI from attacking as the AKKBB supporters fled.

KontraS strongly condemns the violent actions taken by the FPI against the supporters of the AKKBB.  The incident is especially disheartening as it overshadows the commemoration of the birth of Pancasila.  Pancasila’s Day, an integral part of state foundation and national philosophy, should be used as a tool to promote Indonesian unity between different tribes and religions.
Additionally, the members of KontraS are upset by the poor response of the Jakarta police to the actions taken by the FPI.  The AKKBB informed the police about their intentions to demonstrate, yet the police force failed to intervene in the FPI attacks until AKKBB supporters were forced to flee from the scene.

Finally, KontraS urges the President to take notice of this incident.  The President should take measures to support the Jakarta police force in arresting perpetrators while enforcing the laws equally with respect to all citizens.

Jakarta, June 1, 2008

Indria Fernida              
Sinung Karto
Deputy I Coordinator 
Advocacy and Investigation Division