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Yogya violence more political than religious, says Indonesia Police Watch

Publication Date : 01-06-2014


The Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) says the attack on a Catholic group in a house in Sleman regency, Yogyakarta on Thursday was related more to political issues rather than religious, even though the attack occurred during prayer.

On Thursday night, a group of armed men attacked Julius Felicianus, the director of the Galang Press publishing house, Kompas TV journalist Michael Aryawan and 12 others, including women and children, as they prayed in Julius’ house.

“Group prayers held in homes are rarely targeted by fundamentalists. Julius is a local campaigner for Jokowi and Kalla, so this case is intertwined with politics,” said IPW chairman Neta S. Pane as quoted by during his visit to Julius at the hospital on Saturday. Neta was referring to the Joko “Jokowi” Widodo-Jusuf Kalla ticket backed by a coalition lead by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in the coming presidential election.

Julius, currently being treated at Panti Rapih Hospital in Yogyakarta due to severe injuries, is a  supporter of Jokowi-Kalla and has even established a secretariat for Jokowi-Kalla volunteers at his house.

“The attack could have been political, due to my activities in support of Jokowi,” Julius said.

Neta cited that the assailants had claimed Ja’far Umar Thalib, former Laskar Jihad commander, had given them the order to attack, and said this provided a clue as to the political dimension of the case.

“Several generals protected Ja’far when Laskar Jihad got involved in the Ambon riots couple of years ago,” he said.


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