Feature

Indonesia: Innocents swept up in war on terror

For years now, police have been aggressively hunting for members of the splinter groups of Jemaah Islamiyah.

Nani Afrida
The Jakarta Post

The terror dragnet is entangling innocent Indonesians, said Nani Afrida. For years now, security agencies have been aggressively hunting for members of all the “various splinter groups” of Jemaah Islamiyah, the al Qaida affiliate that bombed nightclubs in Bali in 2002. The deadliest act of terrorism in Indonesian history killed more than 200 people, mostly tourists, and it’s clear that the country must track down all the perpetrators. But in their zeal to do so, police are abusing innocent people. “What was traumatizing was when they raided my house, cuffed my hands, and put a mask over my head,” said one wrongly arrested 19-year-old. Another young man was held for seven days and subjected to “intimidating questioning” before police determined he was not involved with a terror cell. Since his release, he has been shunned and can’t even find a Koran study group to join. Old friends fear he is “an intelligence agent for the police,” while new acquaintances assume he is a terrorist. There are dozens, if not scores, of Indonesians like these—and let’s not forget the 60-odd suspects who have been killed by police during raids. Who will compensate these victims and their families for the “mental and physical damage” inflicted by the police?

Recommended

Civilian death toll in Ukraine tops 4,000, U.N. says
Bombed school in Luhansk
fighting to survive

Civilian death toll in Ukraine tops 4,000, U.N. says

10 things you need to know today: May 28, 2022
Protesters outside the NRA convention
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 28, 2022

Strong earthquake hits southern Peru
Peru.
shaken up

Strong earthquake hits southern Peru

Fire kills 11 newborn babies in Senegal hospital
Senegal hospital fire
tragedy

Fire kills 11 newborn babies in Senegal hospital

Most Popular

Is the war shifting in Russia's favor?
Vladimir Putin.
Opinion

Is the war shifting in Russia's favor?

CDC identifies 9 monkeypox cases across 7 states
Monkeypox virus.
more pox

CDC identifies 9 monkeypox cases across 7 states

Jury begins deliberations in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial
Johnny Depp
you heard it here

Jury begins deliberations in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard libel trial