INDONESIA PASSES ANTI-TERRORISM LAW AFTER SUICIDE ATTACKS ON CHURCHES
July 23, 2018:
Weeks after a radicalized Muslim family committed suicide attacks on churches in the city of Surabaya, Indonesia, the country passed an anti-terror law meant to prevent more attacks and foster the majority-Muslim country’s tolerant culture. (Sources: RNS, 23/07/2018)
The anti-terror law expands the power of Indonesia’s military and police to take further actions against potential terrorists and those spreading radical ideology. Under the law, the Indonesian National Police can conduct pre-emptive arrests and detain people for being members of a group declared a terrorist organization. The law makes it an official offense to join a militant group overseas, such as the so-called Islamic State. It also expands the role of the Indonesian armed forces into domestic security.
The anti-terror bill was introduced in Parliament more than two years ago, after an attack in a Jakarta shopping area, but it stalled for various reasons, including concerns by human rights watchers that the bill could be used to suppress peaceful activists. Some human rights groups do not support the new law.