Breaking ISIS: Indonesia's Legal Position on the 'Foreign Terrorist Fighters' Threat
18 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 8, 2015
Indonesia, as signatory and co-sponsor of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2170, has committed to suppressing the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), along with financing and other support, for Islamist extremist groups operating in Iraq and Syria – in particular the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). Varying levels of support for ISIS have been observed in Indonesia, including displays of ISIS paraphernalia, support rallies, swearing of allegiance to the caliphate and an uncertain number of individuals travelling to the region to fight. Recognising the risk posed by support for ISIS and returning FTFs, the Indonesian government announced a 'ban' on the terrorist organisation in 2014. However, doubt remains with regard to the legal and practical enforcement of the 'ban' by Indonesian police and actions they are able to take against ISIS's Indonesian supporters. While there have been calls for the government to enact a new law or revise existing laws to specifically address ISIS and its supporters in Indonesia, it is uncertain if or when such a law could be finalised and passed. Accordingly, this article examines the legal position as it exists under current Indonesian law with respect to preventing and punishing supporters of ISIS.
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