Indonasian president signs decree to ban radical groups

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Many countries today experience the menace of radicalism sweeping their society. Some redical groups in Indonesia have been reportedly causing chaos in the communities. In order to control the rate of violence caused by these groups, Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo has signed a decree giving his government powers to dismantle “radical” organizations amid prolonged sectarian conflict in the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Reports confirmed that the Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Human Rights, Wiranto, read the announcement in front of reporters:
“President can issue the Regulation because of urgent circumstances that need a quick settlement. Some of these groups are really causing conflicts and something is needed to be done fast which is why the government is acting…”

The government has notified that any group involved in causing conflicts in the society will be justly delt with. The decree also provides for life imprisonment for members and administrators of the organization that engage in hostile acts against certain ethnic, religious, and racial groups that exist in the country.

In reaction to this, the international rights group voiced concerns over the decree, calling it ‘violation of freedom of association and expression’.
“Dissolving organizations solely for ideological reasons, is a severe act that violates freedom of association and expression that has been fought hard since the era of the Suharto dictatorship,” said Andreas Harsono, a rights activist associated with the Human Rights Watch.

In addition, spokesman for Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) Ismail Yusanto said it would challenge the move in the Constitutional Court.
“We have predicted the government will issue the regulation, we will fight by filing Judicial Review,” Yusanto said as quoted by kompas.com.

It has been confirmed that some of the banned groups have not caused any violence act of any means. Also, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) does not have any record of violence in Indonesia but the government’s move to ban it was defended by mainstream Muslim organizations.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim majority country comprising of about 200 million people. The country is known to be far more tolerant in terms of religious diversity as compared to somr counterparts in the Middle East. However, some groups in the country are causing violence which the government is ready to ban.

Reports have confirmed that some Indonesians are not in support of the ban stating that some innocent and peace making groups have been banned which is quite devastating while some believed it is a great move to curb the high violence rate in the country.