Minorities told to defend their rights
Legal adviser tells religious leaders to use the courts
According to Vino Oktavia, so far discrimination cases, particularly those involving minority groups, have only become “a discussion” in society.
“The faithful, whose freedom of religion is violated or discriminated against, can bring a case to court. If a regulation is not right, a judicial review is allowed,” he told Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim and Protestant leaders as well as activists attending a training program on religious freedom organized by the institute in Bukittinggi.
The Muslim layman pointed out that discrimination against minority groups violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the 1945 constitution.
He lamented the Indonesian government’s failure to implement freedom of religion. “In many cases, the government - in this case [meaning the] police - seemed to let such violations happen,” he said.
He added that the government only recognized six religions - Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hindu, Islam and Protestantism - and ignored beliefs followed by tribal people. “Those who do not adhere to one of these religions cannot have an identity card. It means they lose their civil and political rights,” he continued.
Offering legal aid to those facing discrimination, he maintained that such legal aid “is a fight for human rights.”
Church official demands justice for minorities
Political conspiracy perpetuates intolerance
Marites Flor, a Filipino woman, was kidnapped with two Canadians and a Norwegian in September
Vatican spokesman treads lightly in response to events occurring inside China
Villagers in Bago Division destroyed parts of a mosque, a madrassa and some houses following an argument
Francis Atul Sarker vows to boost Caritas services for more people
Reintroduction will see many innocent and poor people executed in the Philippines, they say