Relocated Shia community is asked to change their religion so they can return to their homes…. Human rights violations could not get worst in Indonesia….
Between 160 to 200 Shia, including about 50 children, have been living in inadequate conditions at a sports complex in Sampang district on Madura Island since August 2012 when they were displaced after their village was attacked and burned down by anti- Shia group of around 500 people who attacked the community with sharp weapons and stones and injured and killed many Shia Muslims.
Indonesian authorities have gone too far in neglecting and ignoring the rights of Shia Muslims in this country. Since January the East Java provincial police have withdrawn the officers who had been protecting the community. In late December, the local authorities halted food supplies and medical services. Some of the children in the shelter have fallen sick over the last few weeks.
Now, to worsen the situation even more, the Indonesian authorities have given the Shia until March 2013 to convert to “Indonesia’s majority religion Sunni Islam” if they wish to return to their homes.
In May 2012, during its Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council, the Indonesian government reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the protection of freedom of religion and to address cases of religious intolerance. However Shia Muslims still face harassment, intimidation and attacks. And those who commit acts of violence against religious minorities are rarely punished and communities have been displaced by attacks.
The right to freedom of religion or belief is guaranteed in Article 18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and Article 18 of the International Bill of Human Rights to which Indonesia is a state party.
Shia Rights Watch believes it is Indonesians government’s responsibility to
- Ensure that the community is granted immediate access to essential services such as food and health services
- Help Shia build their homes that were damaged or destroyed,
- Guarantee the voluntary and dignified return of the Shia community to their homes,
- And investigate, report, catch and punish those who violate human rights in this country.
S.R.W has sent letters to the Indonesian Embassy in US regarding the Shia rights violations in this country but did not get any respond back.