Conflict & Justice

Light sentence for videoed vigilantes


YouTube video of mob violence against Islamic sect Ahmadiyya



Though they were caught on video raiding a village and bludgeoning men to death, members of a Indonesian mob caught prison sentences of only five-to-seven months.

According to the Jakarta Globe, the raid's mastermind received a five-month sentence. Another teenager was sentenced to only three months despite widely circulated footage of him cracking a man's head with a stone.

How do you take part in or provoke killings, get caught on video doing it and basically get away with it?

By attacking an Islamic breakaway sect, the Ahmadiyya, that is reviled by Muslim fundamentalists and considered impure by the state itself.

Attacks on the sect have spiked in recent years and a group connected to this vigilante attack, the Islamic Defenders Front, has tried to portray the group as a scourge on Indonesian society. The Ahmadiyya are despised for declaring that Mohammed is not the final prophet.

The danger here? Other unruly mobs who hate this sect will feel emboldened to beat and kill its followers, in broad daylight, with a dozen cell phone cameras on record.