Indonesian court upholds government decision to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir

Hizb ut-Tahrir rally in Indonesia

An Indonesian court has upheld a government decision to ban Islamic political group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The Jakarta State Administrative Court rejected an appeal by Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia to challenge a decision to revoke its legal status and disband the organisation.

HTI was banned on the basis of a 2017 presidential decree that gives the government powers to disband groups deemed a threat to national unity.

The judicial panel said it had rejected HTI’s petition because the group’s activities went against the Pancasila state ideology.

The panel also said the evidence proved that HTI had tried to spread teachings about the Caliphate in an effort to alter the state ideology, for example by holding a caliphate conference in 2013 at Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

“The HTI was not a congregation but a political party,” the panel said.

The Islamic group, which had an estimated 10,000 members in Indonesia before it was dissolved, supports the establishment of a global caliphate.

Ismail Yusanto, a Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia spokesman, said it would appeal the decision.

“If we accept, that means accepting injustice, that we allow injustice and we accept that preaching our ideals is wrong. Are you willing to let the teachings of Islam be blamed?” Yusanto was quoted as saying by CNN Indonesia.

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