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On September 3, at least 130 Malay Sunni vigilantes attacked an Ahmadiyah mosque in Balai Harapan village, Sintang regency, West Kalimantan. The attack occurred after Friday prayers, during which the imam at a nearby Sunni mosque, Mochammad Hedi…
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Muslim and Christian Preachers Face Prison Under Abusive Law

Indonesian National Police have separately arrested and detained two clergymen on blasphemy charges. On August 25 Muhammad Kece, a Christian preacher, was arrested at his friend’s house in Bali for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Among other…
(L-R) Muhammed Kece, Yahya Waoni
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Amend Discriminatory Regulation That Blocks New Houses of Worship

Hundreds of Muslims in Indonesia this week demanded that the local government in Sraten village, East Java, stop the Muhammadiyah congregation from building a mosque. The protest prompted the village head to order the construction halted until the…
Indonesia's religious minorities, including Christians, Ahmadis, Buddhists and native faith believers, celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day outside the State Palace in Jakarta
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Decree Seeks End to Discriminatory Treatment of Girls, Women in Schools

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government should actively enforce a new decree that bans abusive, discriminatory dress codes for female students and teachers in Indonesia’s state schools, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 3, 2021, Education…
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Last September, I drove for four hours from Jakarta to a small town in western Java, staying one night in a Javanese-styled hotel at the foot of Mt. Ciremai, a 3,000-meter volcano on Java. When I got to Cisantana, I journeyed down a…
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Arrest Assailants, Protect Religious Minorities

On November 27, Islamist militants attacked the Christian-majority village of Lembantongoa in Sulawesi, Indonesia, killing the village elder and three other Christian farmers. The attackers burned a Salvation Army church and six houses, prompting…
Villagers and police officers clean up debris at the site of suspected militant attack in Lembantongoa village in Sulawesi, Indonesia, November 30, 2020. 
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Prime Minister Suga Should Use Favorable Position to Advocate Reforms

(Tokyo) – Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, should press the governments of Vietnam and Indonesia to improve their deteriorating human rights records during his visit to the two countries, Human Rights Watch said today. Suga will visit…
Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
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‘Balikpapan 7’ Face 5 to 17 Years in Prison

(Jakarta) – Indonesian authorities should drop all charges and release seven Papuan activists and students on trial for their involvement in antiracism protests in Jayapura, Papua, in August 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. During the week of June…
SevenPapuan activists and students on trial for their involvement in anti-racism protests in Jayapura.    
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Revoke New Provisions Violating Basic Rights

Indonesia is set to expand its abusive blasphemy laws as part of an overhaul of the country’s Criminal Code. In September President Joko Widodo ordered parliament to postpone voting on the draft Criminal Code to allow more time for…
Muslim protesters display flags with Arabic writings that read: "There's no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger"
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Remove Provisions Harmful to Women, Minorities, Free Speech

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian parliament should substantially revise the proposed new criminal code to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The current bill contains articles that will violate the…
LGBT activists protest the planned revision to Indonesia’s criminal code outside parliament in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 12, 2018.
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Death Row, then Arbitrary Detention, Now Exile

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s authorities freed a blogger on July 29, 2019, who had been held in a blasphemy case for five and-a-half years, Human Rights Watch said today. Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir was freed three days before the…
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed.
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Ordered Released 19 Months Ago but Remains in Solitary Confinement

(Tunis) – Mauritania’s president should, in his final days in office, ensure the immediate release of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir, who remains in detention since a court ordered his release in November 2017, Human Rights Watch…
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Government Repression and Communal Attacks in Post-Suharto Era

(Jakarta) – Political changes in post-Suharto Indonesia have triggered ethnic and religious violence across the country, says a book by Andreas Harsono, a veteran Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, that was published…
Cover of Race, Islam and Power.
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Both Wrote About Alleged Corruption Scheme

(Tunis) – Mauritanian authorities should free two bloggers arrested on March 22, 2019, and drop all charges related to their peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The bloggers, Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou,…
Abderrahmane Weddady and Cheikh Ould Jiddou.
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Urgent Need for Legislative Reform

(Geneva) –Mauritanian authorities used a litany of harsh and overbroad laws on terrorism, cybercrime, apostasy, and criminal defamation to prosecute and jail human rights defenders, activists, bloggers, and political dissidents during…
People wait to cast their vote on September 1, 2018 outside a polling station in Nouakchott for the country's legislative, regional and local elections. © 2018 Ahmed Ould Mohamed Ould Elhadj/AFP/Getty Images
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Last month, I visited Meliana, an Indonesian woman jailed for blasphemy, in a prison in Medan, North Sumatra. The security was tight. No mobile phones. No pens. No money. We could only bring some cakes. I went there with Musdah Mulia, a…
Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama after the sentencing in his blasphemy trial in Jakarta on May 9, 2017.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is visiting Indonesia this week on his first international trip as Australia’s leader. The two governments will announce a new trade deal and Australia is keen to show this as a deepening of ties between the two…
A police officer stands guard during a protest by supporters of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, outside Cipinang Prison where he was taken following his conviction of blasphemy in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 May 2017.