Indonesia: Komnas HAM Condemns Sealing of St. Bernadette Church

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Siti Noor Laila, the chairwoman of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), has condemned the sealing of  St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Bintaro, South Tangerang on Sunday, September 22, 2013. She said the sealing of places of worship in the country persisted due to the lack of law enforcement.

“The religious intolerant have never received any deterring punishment, so such actions persist,” he told Tempo on Monday, September 23, 2013.

A group of people, claiming to be local residents, staged a protest in front of the St. Bernadette Church on Sunday at around 8.00-11.00. They locked the church and demanded ceased construction of the church.

“The law enforcement is weak. Law enforcers shouldn’t be biased in enforcing the law and bowed to the demand of the majority,” Siti said.

Siti appealed to law enforcers, including the police and public prosecutors, to enforce the law fairly. “There’s only one law, so they should not support the tyranny of the majority,” Siti said, adding that fanatical groups were mushrooming these days, taking the law into their own hands.

Siti regretted cases of sealed places of worship had continued in Indonesia. She added the commission would watch these cases closely and investigate the cause of the religious conflicts.