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Trial begins for alleged Muslim militants in Indonesia

[JURIST] Five Muslim militants went on trial Monday in Indonesia for allegedly having protected members of terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah [BBC profile], the group responsible for several recent terrorist incidents, including the 2002 and October 1, 2005 Bali bombings and a 2004 bombing of the US embassy in Jakarta. All five militants face the death penalty if convicted. One person has been arrested [JURIST report] so far in connection with the most recent attack. The Indonesian government vowed last March to expel [JURIST report] Jemaah Islamiyah from the country, though the vice president recently said that Indonesia cannot formally expel the group [JURIST report] because the group was never officially recognized in the first place. Indonesia has been working with Australia to strengthen its anti-terrorism laws [JURIST report] since the October bombing, despite fears [JURIST report] from human rights activists that the new laws could facilitate a return to the days when former dictator Suharto [Wikipedia profile] used security forces to stifle dissent. AP has more.

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