Indonesia revokes legal status of Hizb ut-Tahrir, officially dissolves group

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 19, 2017

The government's move comes a week after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo signed a presidential decree that gives the government nearly unfettered power to ban groups that go against "national unity and the existence of the Indonesian nation".

The legal status of Hizbut Tahrir, which campaigns for the country to adopt Islamic law and become a caliphate, was revoked on Wednesday to protect Indonesia's unity, according to Freddy Hari, the director-general of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

HTI said it would challenge the decision.

It has been operating in the country for decades, despite only becoming a legal entity in the last days of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono government and in the midst of President Joko Widodo winning the election in July 2014.

Perppu has sparked concerns over potential violations of the right to assemble as it grants the government the power to disband mass groups without due process.

HTI was involved in mass protests against Jakarta's now jailed Christian governor Busuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as a Ahok. They consider the government's move a threat to the freedom of association and opinion and believe it will bring Indonesia back into an era of dictatorship.

About 2,000 people from Islamic groups protested against the order in Jakarta on Tuesday, denouncing the government as repressive and tyrannical.

He told journalists that while HTI said it respected Pancasila in its mission, on the ground many of their activities were in conflict with it and the "soul of NKRI".

"The move just shows an arbitrary action aimed at disbanding Hizbut Tahrir".

The group is estimated to have tens of thousands of members in Indonesia.

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