Indonesia. Indonesia's reputation as a Muslim country
characterized by tolerance became somewhat disgraceful
during the year. A video showing how a Muslim mob killed
three members of the Islamic branch of Ahmadiya caused great
outrage both in the country and around the world. The film
showed how more than a thousand men came to Ahmadiya's
premises, where they tore out the prayers and began to beat
them with slips, stones and knives while police watched
Twelve men were tried but no one was charged with murder.
The sentence varied between three and six months in prison,
which was even less than the prosecutors had demanded.
Ahmadiya has emerged from Islam but the followers are
considered by most Muslims to be apostates. Just days after
this death attack in Java, a Muslim mob burned down two
churches on another part of the island in protest that a
Christian man accused of violating Islam had escaped with
five years in prison. The mob demanded the death penalty.
Later in the year, rumors in the city of Ambon led to the
death of a Muslim motorcycle taxi driver by Christians to
riots that claimed five lives and injured dozens. According
to police, the man had died in a traffic accident.
Countryaah official site, Islamist prayer leader Abu Bakar Baasyir was sentenced in
June to 15 years in prison for contributing to funding the
terrorist group al-Qaeda in Aceh, which is said to have
murdered Westerners and political leaders. The charge for
providing weapons was dropped, which saved him from a
possible death penalty. Baasyir appealed against the
verdict, which he considered "a disgraceful work by the
devil's friends," and a higher court softened the sentence
to nine years, without further justification.
In January, the verdict fell into a corruption havoc that
shook the nation for a year. A lower official at the tax
authority was sentenced to seven years in prison for
allegedly helping big business owners trick the state into
billions in withholding tax. During the trial, the man
testified about how he bribed police and prosecutors to
continue his business, for which he himself earned millions.
The deal had ramifications in the country's political elite
and damaged the confidence of President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono, who profiled himself as a tough opponent of
In a poll in June, for the first time, fewer than 50% of
respondents said they had confidence in the president.
Shortly before, the former treasurer of the president's
party had fled the country after being accused of
A government reshuffle in September convinced neither
investors nor the general public, and it aroused some
surprise that Yudhoyono in June appointed his own
brother-in-law to the Army Chief of Staff. Three soldiers
who were seen on video torture three arrested civilians in
the eastern province of Papua were sentenced by a military
court to up to ten months in prison. A popular rock star who
appeared on video to have sex with two TV celebrities was
sentenced to three and a half years in prison.