Thursday, February 14, 2013

Proposed bill in Indonesia threatens freedom of religion and association

Brice Hwang

The government of Indonesia has gathered to amend a bill that prevents everyone living in Indonesia from having their own religion, expression, and freedom of association. The State "supports the belief in only one God and imposes restrictions on the types of activities they can carry out." Under this new bill, called Bill on Mass Organization, people living in Indonesia will be forced to support the State's philosophy while foreign organizations will be carefully monitored

I believe this is a complete violation of many human right's bills passed throughout the history. I have read many articles about human rights but most of them were not as blunt as the proposed bill by the Indonesian government. This bill will have multiple effects on the citizens as well as foreign societal organizations. The proposed bill will directly remove human rights of the citizens of Indonesia. Freedom of religion, expression, and association, to me, is one of the more important human rights due to a number of reasons. For one, throughout history there has been a large number of wars due to laws preventing the freedom of religion, expression, and association. Therefore, by passing this bill, there is a high possibility that resistance groups can form, in turn causing violence and a unstable government. By restricting the freedom of religion and association, the Indonesia government seems to show signs of communism. This bill also makes me wonder what will happen to other religious groups that deviate from State's philosophy living in Indonesia. Based on the article, the government will oversee all administration of the association, and foreign organizations will face many restrictions and criteria's. The bill will be voted on later this week. Lets hope there is opposition within the Indonesia government to prevent another country from restricting human rights.

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