Religious freedom and human rights liberties are at stake in Indonesia’s Presidential elections tomorrow, July 9, as its two leading contenders are at polar opposites when it comes to their reputations regarding human rights.
Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is well known for his stance against corruption, being pro religious pluralism and was named as one of Fortune’s 50 most influential world leaders this year while his opponent Prabowo Subianto, who is now narrowly leading in the polls, has a history of human rights violations.
In response to Subianto’s strong showing, and for the first time in the nation’s history, the Jakarta Post (a reputable English language newspaper), and the Human Rights Commission have openly endorsed a presidential candidate, in this case Jokowi.
Indonesia’s constitution protects religious freedom but under the nation’s current President “Yudhoyono – whose coalition includes Islamic-based parties – religious intolerance against Christians, Shia Muslims and Ahmadis has been on the rise,” reports the UK’s Guardian.
Sources: Open Doors; The Guardian