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Rights watchdog slams launch of 'deviant religious teachings' reporting app

Detik News - November 24, 2018

Danu Damarjati, Jakarta – The office of the Jakarta chief prosecutor (kejati) has launched a smart phone application called the Social Beliefs and Teachings Monitor (Pengawasan Aliran Kepercayaan Masyarakat) or Smart Pakem for short.

According to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) the application has the potential to violate human rights, trigger conflicts and goes against the spirit of tolerance and diversity.

"We are urging the kejati and the kejagung [Attorney General] to delete the application", Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam told Detik.com on Saturday November 24.

An application such as this has the potential to restrict the freedom of religion and beliefs. Those who will be most harmed by this, according to Anam, will be those who adhere to indigenous faiths [that are not recognised by the state].

Komnas HAM does not accept the justification for the launch of that the application that it is to prevent persecution.

"This drags the state into managing other people's beliefs. This is a bad president. It adds to the injuries suffered by instillers of [indigenous] faiths. On the question of tolerance, it would be better to leave it up to the instillers", said Anam.

Anam said that the application could threaten human rights and democracy in Indonesia. Yet the government, said Anam, is aggressively trying to build an atmosphere of tolerance and stability in the country.

"This is the first time there has been an application such as this and it threatens human rights as well as democracy in Indonesia. This is counterproductive against the government's own efforts. The Attorney General must take down the application so it does not conflict with the government's efforts to build democracy", said Anam.

The Jakarta chief prosecutor's assistant for intelligence, Yulianto, said that the application named Smart Pakem was developed to provide information about social developments and facilitate the monitoring of religious teachings and indigenous faiths. The application is also designed to prevent the persecution of particular ormas (social or mass organisations) or indigenous faiths that are considered to be deviant.

"Looking at the rapid development of indigenous beliefs the importance of the Smart Pakem application is as a tool for communities to communicate with the Jakarta Pakem (Coordinating Body for the Monitoring of Religious Beliefs) team because currently there are many imbalanced developments in religious conflicts taking place so information is need on religious teachings and indigenous faiths", said Yulianto in a statement received by Detik.com on Friday November 23.

The Jakarta chief prosecutor's head of legal information (kasipenkum) Nirwan Nawawi meanwhile explained that the application contains several feature folders on edicts issued by the Islamic Ulama Council [MUI, the country's peak Islamic religious body], religious teachings, indigenous faiths, ormas, information and complaint report forms.

The Smart Pakem application can also provide data on all religious teachings that exist in Jakarta, the areas of particular indigenous and religious faiths, discussion tools and social complaint mechanisms.

"This application receives complaints from people when they find indications of indigenous faith groups or ormas which are deviant", said Nawawi. (dnu/fai)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Komnas HAM Desak Kejagung Hapus Aplikasi Pelaporan Aliran Sesat.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4314970/komnas-ham-desak-kejagung-hapus-aplikasi-pelaporan-aliran-sesat.

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