Amnesty International asks Indonesia to guarantee rights of Gafatar members

Amnesty International asks Indonesia to guarantee rights of Gafatar members

Ex Gafatar member with her baby were waiting to go back to their place of origin as they arrived at Soekarno-Hatta Port, Makassar, South Sulawesi, last Wednesday (27/1). (ANTARA FOTO/Yusran Uccang)

London (ANTARA News) - Amnesty International has asked the Indonesian authority to guarantee the rights of the member of a minority faith-based organization, Gafatar, who were forcibly evicted from West Kalimantan last week.

The improvement efforts delivered to the Gafatar members should ensure access to justice and other rights recovery, Deputy Director of Campaigns Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Office Amnesty International, Josef Roy Benedict, said to ANTARA London, Saturday.

Amnesty International expects a reparation process which includes the guarantee of a safe, voluntary, and dignified return, a compensation for losses, including for the destruction and damage of homes, and the assurance that such an act would not be repeated.

On January 19, a mob attacked the Motong Panjang village in Menpawah regency, West Kalimantan, and burned nine houses owned by the Gafatar members.

Following the attack, the Gafatar members were transferred by the police to some temporary shelters at a military complex in Kuburaya regency and a sports hall in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

At least 1.500 members of Gafatar, including women and children, were forcibly expelled from their homes in Sintang and Ketapang regencies, because they were accused of affiliation to Gafatar which has been considered a deviant sect by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

On January 21, the police of West Kalimantan shipped hundreds of Gafatar members to some locations in Java, which was claimed by the authority as the members' place of origin.

The relocation has prevented another attack addressed to the group, but the Gafatar members who were already sent to Java claimed that the relocation had been done without any consultation.

Amnesty International assumed that there was no criminal investigation conducted by the police to the attacker mobs.

The Gafatar group expressed their concern about the discrimination by the local authorities, the risk of harassment, intimidation, and further attacks by the mob because of their choice of beliefs.