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Forum condemns bomb incidents

'Despicable acts' an assault on democracy and pluralism, say activists

Chairul Annam (holding microphone) reads the joint statement at the press conference Chairul Annam (holding microphone) reads the joint statement at the press conference
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • March 17, 2011
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Activists from 26 NGOs today condemned a recent blast and two attempted bombings in Jakarta, calling them despicable acts in the struggle for human rights and plurality in Indonesia.

Calling themselves the Indonesian Forum for Pluralism, they issued their condemnation in a joint statement at a press conference at the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence in Jakarta.

“The Indonesian Forum for Pluralism condemns these bomb threats and any form of violence which threatens the security of each citizen. The recent incidents are a form of terror against the freedoms of thought and expression, especially on pluralism issues,” the statement said.

A bomb, hidden in a book, exploded at the East Jakarta offices of the Utan Kayu Community on March 15, injuring five people, three of them seriously. The parcel-bomb was addressed to Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a Liberal Islam Network activist.

Two other bombs were found the same day at the National Narcotics Agency and at the home of the chairman of Pemuda Pancasila, a youth organization.

The activists urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to revoke discriminatory regulations that threaten diversity because they have become a means of legitimizing violent acts.

They also reminded state officials to uphold human rights and democracy while tackling violence and terror and called for the national police chief to thoroughly investigate the bomb incidents.

Religious leaders at the press conference also spoke out against militant elements.

“I am concerned with the protection of civil society, including those defending human rights,” said Jesuit Father Yohanes Nikolaus Haryanto, secretary general of the Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace.

Reverend Emmy Sahertian from the National Alliance of the Unity in Diversity was more defiant.

“We are not afraid since we are united in upholding the truth,” she said

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