Australian activist Tirana Hassan arrested in Indonesia

Tirana Hassan

Tirana Hassan was questioned by police in East Java. Picture: Supplied
Source: Supplied





A SOUTH Australian woman working for Human Rights Watch in Indonesia has been arrested while researching religious intolerance.


Tirana Hassan, from Adelaide, was arrested and then interrogated by police for nine hours along with fellow Human Rights Watch activist Andreas Harsono.

They were arrested in Sampang in East Java where they had been conducting interviews with local Shia Muslims, a minority in Indonesia who along with the Ahmadiyah sect have been facing growing persecution and acts of violence.

The Jakarta Globe reported that they had been interviewing a Shia follower in Nangkernang village when a group of people blockaded the access road leading to the village.

They were then taken to Sampang Police headquarters and interrogated before being released without charge. Mr Harsono said that Ms Hassan was likely to be deported. He said the authorities claimed Ms Hassan violated her visa conditions because she did not have permission to conduct research while in Indonesia.

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There has been increasing religious intolerance in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim majority nation, including the clubbing and stoning to death of three Ahmadiyah members during a rampage involving 1500 people in Cikeusik in West Java in February.

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