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Indonesia Rejects UN Claims On Incidental Religious Violence
Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-11/16/c_131978859.htm
Source Date: Friday, November 16, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Thematic Website, Knowledge Management in Government, Citizen Engagement
Created: Nov 16, 2012

JAKARTA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsudin is rejecting claims made by the United Nations high commissioner on human rights that the government has done little to stop religious violence in the nation, media reported here on Friday.

The minister claimed that the government had indeed taken measures to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their religion, could practice their faith freely.

The claim was made after United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, who met with victims of religious persecution in Indonesia, said that she was "distressed to hear accounts of violence, attacks, forced disappearances and other discrimination and harassment, as well as the police's failure to provide protection."

Minister Amir described the violent attacks directed at religious minorities as relatively minor problems for a populous nation that was too much for the government to manage.

"There might be places where attacks on certain minority groups occurred. However, they are incidental," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

"Indonesia has a population of over 240 million who are spread over a vast area. We have too many people to deal with," Amir said.

Amir said that he had made this clear to Pillay when the pair met earlier this week.

"I have explained this to Pillay with a hope that she can understand the context of what really happened," he added.

The minister said that the government had not received adequate recognition of its protection of minority groups, placing the blame with the media.
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