Indonesian Police Decline to Name Suspects in Latest Ahmadiyah Attack

By webadmin on 08:05 pm Jul 16, 2012
Category Archive

Farouk Arnaz

No one will be charged in Friday’s mob attack on members of Bogor’s Ahmadiyah community, the National Police said on Monday.

“There are no suspects,” Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto, spokesman of National Police, said.

An angry mob attacked the homes of six members of the Ahmadiyah community in Cisalada, Bogor, on Friday as a group of foreign journalists attempted to shoot a documentary about the beleaguered religious minority, police said on Friday.

Three members of the Ahmadiyah community were injured as local residents hurled stones at their homes. An Indonesian woman, who was not a member of the Islamic sect, suffered a broken leg in the attack.

But on Monday, the National Police said there was no evidence of abuse in the incident. Both sides, Agus claimed, were stoning each other in self-defense.

He blamed the clash on the presence of foreign journalists.

“[The] Ahmadiyah have apologized [for the incident] because no one told the [villagers] about the visit from the foreign journalists that triggered the conflict,” Agus said. “They don’t want to be blamed because the journalists — three Dutch journalists and one from Britain — came on their own will. They were not [invited] by the Ahmadiyah people.”

The police account of the incident has been called into question by members of the Ahmadiyah community.

Mubarik Ahmad previously told the Jakarta Globe that police pressured him to write the apology, telling the Ahmadi man what it should say.

“I have no experience in writing such things. The district police chief and military commander told me what I had to write, that it was my fault for not reporting the foreign journalists to the subdistrict head,” Mubarik said on Sunday.

Officers allegedly told Mubarik that they were “short on time” and that he needed to sign the document.

“Based on their instructions I also wrote that we will never allow reporters to enter the village without permission from the subdistrict head,” Mubarik added.

The journalists have also disputed the official line.

Michel Maas, a long-time Indonesia correspondent for Dutch TV Station NOS and De Volkskrant, said that the two other people with him were Dutch tourists, not reporters.

He also denied interviewing anyone outside Cisalada village.

“We have not interviewed anyone outside the village,” Maas told the Jakarta Globe on Sunday.

Maas, who has covered the archipelago for 11 years and speaks fluent Indonesian, was too far from the mob to hear what they were shouting.

“We saw people running, and then the police officer who was with us ordered to get into the car and said that we had to go,” Maas said.