February 28, 2013


This report is based on research between August 2011 and December 2012. Human Rights Watch researchers conducted interviews in 10 provinces, on the islands of Java, Madura, Sumatra, and Timor. Sites were chosen based on areas where incidents of violence against religious minorities had been reported in the media or by civil society organizations.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 115 individuals during the course of the research. They included 71 victims of violence. They belonged to 14 Protestant congregations, 4 Ahmadiyah congregations, 2 Shia groups, 2 Catholic groups, and a Sunni Muslim mosque.

We also spoke with 26 religious leaders, 7 police officers, 5 leaders of militant groups, 5 private lawyers, and a prosecutor. Interviews were also conducted with experts at the Indonesian Conference on Religions and Peace, the International Crisis Group, the Setara Institute, the Wahid Institute in Jakarta, and the Legal Aid Institute in Padang.

Interviews were conducted in English, Indonesian, Javanese, Madurese, and Sundanese. Individual interviews and group interviews were conducted in the native language of the interviewee. Where necessary, translation from Indonesian to English or from Sundanese to Indonesian was undertaken with the assistance of an interpreter. Interviews consisted of series of open-ended questions.

Human Rights Watch researchers also analyzed multiple secondary sources including more than 3,000 pages of government letters, court documents, police reports, photos and NGO reports. All interviews were voluntary and interviewees were informed of the purpose of the interview, and the way in which the data would be used. Individuals who are named in this report gave their consent. All teenagers who were victims of violence and some adult victims have had their names withheld in the report due to security concerns. Interviewees did not receive any material compensation. All documents cited in the report are publicly available or on file with Human Rights Watch.