FPI Ban Erodes Civil Freedom, Amnesty Indonesia Says



Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Amnesty International Indonesia criticized the government after banning any type of activities associated with the Islam Defenders Front (FPI). The human rights watchdog argued that this only further erodes the civil freedom of Indonesians.

    "This decision potentially discriminates against and violates people's right to freedom of expression and association and further erodes Indonesia's civil freedom," wrote Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid in a statement on Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

    The government's decision to ban any FPI-related activities was mentioned in a joint decree (SKB) between six state ministers consisting of the home affairs minister, law and human rights minister, communication and informatics minister, the attorney general, Indonesian National Police Chief, and the head of the national counterterrorism agency.

    Even though Usman understands why some people might not sympathize or totally against the acts of intolerance often associated with FPI, he believed that the organization should be subjected to legal due process for its actions instead of subjected to a direct ban. 

    Usman Hamid cited the international law which asserts that an organization could only be banned or dismantled after an independent and neutral court decision has been rendered.