Indonesia bans Hizb-ut Tahrir

The Indonesian government has disbanded the Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) for “conducting activities that contradict state ideology… and the principle of a unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.”

The Law and Human Rights Ministry officially revoked HTI’s status as a legal entity on Wednesday. The move was taken following the issuance of a law which grants the government the power to disband mass groups without due process.

“With the revocation of its legal status, we declared that the HTI is disbanded…  Our decision to revoke its legal status is based on extensive consideration, long examination and input from relevant institutions,” the ministry’s legal administration director-general, Freddy Harris, told reporters.

The ministry issued the HTI a permit in July 2014. Since then, the group has reportedly promoted the establishment of a caliphate and Islamic law in Indonesia.

Following the decree, Hizb ut-Tahrir members vowed to seek a judicial review in constitutional court.

“This is tyranny,” said Ismail Yusanto, a spokesman for the group in Indonesia. “The move just shows an arbitrary action aimed at disbanding Hizb ut-Tahrir. [Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia] is a legal religious organisation and has been spreading its messages peacefully, in an orderly manner, in accordance with the law.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir, which uses non-violent means to achieve its goal of a caliphate, is banned in several Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries. The group is estimated to have tens of thousands of members in Indonesia.

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