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Indonesian mayor sued over Catholic church building permit

Lawyers claim manipulation in the license issuing procedure

Arya Dipa for the Jakarta Post

October 18, 2013

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Residents of Jatisampurna subdistrict, Jatisampurna district, have filed a lawsuit against Bekasi Mayor Rahmat Effendi for issuing a building permit for the construction of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic church in the Kranggan area.

The lawsuit was read by presiding judge Edi Firmansyah in a court hearing at the Bandung State Administrative Court on Thursday.

The plaintiffs urged the judges to suspend the church’s construction as the permit was still being processed in court. They also urged the panel of judges to order the mayor to revoke the permit.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Achmad Ardiansyah from the Indonesian Muslim Legal Aid Institute, expressed hope the judges would grant the petition.

“There was a manipulation in the license-issuing procedure,” he said after the hearing.

The residents, added Ardiansyah, protested against the church project as the construction committee had never asked for permission and had not consulted with local residents. They also alleged the construction committee had misused the ID cards and signatures of residents.

They said the church construction committee had held a social activity distributing food and cash to residents in Jatisampurna, in which, residents were asked for their signatures and copies of their ID cards.

The complainants claimed their signatures had been misused as proof of their approval of the planned house of worship.

“The committee used the ID cards of the residents without having the right to do so,” said Ardiansyah.

Full Story: Residents challenge mayor 
over church permit

Source: Jakarta Post

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