With almost a hundred convicted
terrorists set to be released in the next three years, the government is
preparing its first-ever comprehensive scheme to lead them away from extremism,
and from resorting to similar crimes and violence.
The plan, detailed in
the newly launched “deradicalization blueprint” arranged by the National
Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), stipulates that terrorist inmates will take part
in catered and specialized rehabilitation programs based on their level of
involvement in terrorism.
“The blueprint is the first of its kind here.
It not only details the set-up of the system and procedures on how to disengage
the inmates from committing violence but it also lays out the tasks of other
institutions in the process,” BNPT prevention deputy Maj. Gen. Agus Surya Bakti
told The Jakarta Post, recently.
According to the blueprint, the
deradicalization process will be conducted by a special team, jointly formed by
the BNPT, the National Police and other related institutions, such as the Law
and Human Rights Ministry, which oversees penitentiaries, the Religious Affairs
Ministry and the Education and Culture Ministry.
team” will map the background of the militants and their family members, based
on their case dossiers, conduct in-depth interviews and close observations.
The terrorists’ relatives will also be involved in the “reeducation”
program to root-out extreme religious beliefs they may hold.
the collected data, the militants will be divided into three clusters: core,
militant and supporter.
The core group consists of key intellectual
actors who have the ability to influence and recruit new members. The militants
are those who were directly involved in terrorism-related attacks, while
supporters are those who amassed funds and provided hiding places for militants.
According to the blueprint, all of the convicted terrorists will engage
in dialogue with preachers, academics and psychologists in the hope that they
will give up their violent ways and adhere to the state ideology of Pancasila.
The convicts and their family members will participate in skills and
personality development training to help them start a new life.
deradicalization team will collaborate with regional administrations to ensure
the terrorists’ smooth transition into society.
Terrorism expert Noor
Huda Ismail expected that the deradicalization blueprint would help the
government deter the rate of repeat offenders.
“From around 300
convicted terrorists who have been freed in the last few years, we saw 25 cases
of recidivism,” he said recently.
“The blueprint has a good spirit as it
focuses on the terrorists and their families. How the plan is implemented,
however, will be the challenge. What is the mechanism?” he said.
his experience in rehabilitating terrorist-linked inmates, Huda said that it
took a great deal of time and energy to help the inmates reacclimateze to
“Since its establishment in 2008, our Prasasti Perdamaian
Foundation has only been able to assist 10 inmates. We have forged partnerships
with numerous NGOs and local enterprises to achieve that,” he said.
also said that the deradicalization program was a “fantasy” because having
radical views was a human right.
“Unlike the government, our foundation
adopts the ‘counter violence extremism’ approach. We help them express their
radical beliefs in non-violent ways, such as through writing.”
government’s deradicalization program may also run into protracted problems in
the penitentiary system, where terrorist inmates can easily spread their beliefs
and lure others to join their cause.
Prisons across the archipelago are
run at an overcapacity rate of three-fold, with an obvious lack of supervision
of more than 160,000 inmates.
Spokesman for the penitentiary directorate
general, Akbar Hadi Prabowo, said it was very unlikely that the agency would be
able to provide specialized facilities for the terrorist inmates, due to a lack
As of July, 271 convicted terrorists were incarcerated in
prisons in Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi, according to the ministry.
bid to immediately resolve the problem, the BNPT will construct a special
detention center for convicted terrorists at the Indonesian Peace and Security
Center (IPSC) compound in Sentul, West Java.
Some parts of the
deradicalization process will also be carried out at the center, according to
“But first, other related agencies and ministries need to commit
to the blueprint. Small delivery with the blueprint is better than nothing at
all,” Agus said.