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Indonesia enacts ban on radical groups

[JURIST] Indonesian president Joko Widodo signed a decree [text, PDF, in Indonesian] Monday that allows the government to ban radical organizations. Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] has called the decree troubling, saying it goes against freedom of association and expression. It is believed that the decree is meant to target a group known as Hizbut Tahrir, which calls for Shariah law in Indonesia. Hizbut Tahrir, along with other groups, has been responsible for months of protests in Jakarta against the city's Christian mayor.The government has previously announced that it planned on banning the group. A spokesman for Hizbut Tahrir has stated that they plan to have the decree reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

Indonesia [HRW country report] has been accused several times over previous years of violating human rights. In February 2016 HRW condemned [JURIST report] proposed amendments to Indonesia's law on the "eradication of terrorism." In October 2015 Amnesty International reported that death row inmates in Indonesia have been denied [JURIST report] the right to counsel, beaten and coerced into confessions. In April 2015 eight convicted drug smugglers [JURIST report] were executed by firing squad for their part in a smuggling ring. In February 2013 a group of UN human rights experts called on Indonesia [JURIST report] to amend a bill they claimed would unfairly limit the rights of assembly, speech and religion of private organizations. In November 2012 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Indonesia [JURIST report] to end discrimination. In July 2012 an Indonesian cleric was imprisoned for violating [JURIST report] the nation's blasphemy law.

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