Setara Institute: Jokowi Violates Human Rights in Ahok’s Case

Setara Institute: Jokowi Violates Human Rights in Ahok’s Case

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Bonar Tigor Naipospos, Deputy Chairman of Indonesian think tank Setara Institute, asserted that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had committed human rights violation in relation to the alleged religious blasphemy committed by non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

Bonar stated that in human rights perspective, a country – represented by its government – has the obligation to protect the rights of its citizens.

Bonar argued that Indonesia must protect Ahok in the suspected religious blasphemy case. “In the perspective of human rights, the one that needs to be protected is not a religion, but a person,” Bonar said on Monday, December 12, 2016.

From human rights perspective, religion is an abstract concept, and cannot be treated as a legal subject. Therefore, religion does not need to be protected, according to Bonar. Bonar added that from human rights point of view, Ahok cannot be alleged for religious blasphemy.

Bonar argued that by naming Ahok as a suspect, the country had violated the Jakarta Governor candidate’s human rights.

Bonar said that President Jokowi’s decision to continue the case’s legal proceeding can be considered as a human rights violation. Bonar asserted that the President’s decision was intended to prevent future conflicts from occurring.

President Jokowi had repeatedly stated that he will not protect Ahok in relation to the alleged religious blasphemy. Jokowi also said that he will not interfere in any way in the legal proceeding of the case.

“The people needs to know, I will not protect Ahok because [the case’s legal proceeding] has started,” Jokowi said at the Muhammadiyah Central Executive Office on November 9, 2016.


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