Responding to the Presidential Decree on the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Combating of Violent Extremism that Leads to Terrorism (RAN PE)

On January 6, 2021, President Jokowi signed a Presidential Regulation (Perpres) on the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Combating of Violent Extremism That Leads to Terrorism (RAN PE). RAN PE consists of a series of activities carried out in a systematic and planned manner as a reference for ministries, institutions, and local governments in preventing and overcoming Violent Extremism that Leads to Terrorism, which in its implementation can work together and involve community participation.

As a policy, the issuance of the RAN PE Presidential Decree is something positive as part of the commitment and obligation of the state to guarantee and protect the right to a sense of security of the community from the threat of terrorism. In Resolution 2178 (2014), the UN Security Council has clearly stated the relationship between violent extremism and terrorism. The resolution also underlines the importance of preventing and overcoming violent extremism and terrorism in line with human rights principles and standards and international norms. Furthermore, efforts to prevent and combat violent extremism and terrorism also require comprehensive and collective efforts.

Violent extremism and terrorism are a real threat in Indonesia. Thus, state policies to deal with these threats are a must and a more comprehensive approach is needed in overcoming them, which includes not only counter-terrorism measures based on a security approach but also systematic preventive measures that can directly address the driving factors to the violent extremism that gives rise to new extremist groups.

Moreover, the active involvement of various stakeholders is also important in preventing and tackling violent extremism and terrorism. Partial policies and strategies are difficult to produce optimal results given the complexity of the roots and sources of the problems. Thus, efforts to encourage comprehensive policies and the involvement or participation of various stakeholders as well as synergies and cooperation between them in the context of realizing the right to a sense of security in the community need to be prioritized. 

Comprehensive efforts to tackle violent extremism and terrorism must also consider respect for and protection of human rights, which are actually the essence of the concept of security itself (human security). Thus, efforts to maintain security must not negate the essence of security itself, namely respect for and protection of human rights. In formulating anti-extremism and anti-terrorism policies, the state must fulfill its obligations properly, namely placing the protection of the "liberty of person" in a permanent balance point with the protection of the "security of person". The practice of overcoming violent extremism and terrorism that is excessive and negates human rights is often the driving force behind acts of terrorism itself.

In the National Action Plan for the Prevention and Combating of Violent Extremism That Leads to Terrorism (RAN PE), the policies and strategies that have been proclaimed are quite comprehensive and collaborative. However, the substance in the RAN PE still has some notes. First, the Government needs to be careful in implementing RAN PE, considering that until now there is no common definition and indicators of Violent Extremism that Leads to Terrorism, both within the Government and the community. The lack of common definitions and clear indicators has the potential to lead to subjectivity in identifying the phenomenon of violent extremism in society which leads to stigmatization and discrimination against certain individuals or groups as well as segregation in society. 

So far, within civilians themselves there has not been a clear and complete understanding of what is meant by violent extremism, its characteristics and dangers to society. On a practical level, the identification of violent extremism is also not an easy thing and even creates radical or extreme stigmatization of people based on how they dress or have certain thoughts.

Second, given the breadth of the issue of violent extremism, the Government should be able to more clearly formulate the level of the problem it is trying to address by taking into account human rights principles and standards. This is important, considering that imprecise formulation of the level of the problem can lead to discrimination and excessive actions. For example, from a number of steps that have been planned, one that needs to be noted, especially in its implementation, is that it must be carried out carefully, namely the approach " community policing in the prevention of violent extremism”. As a preventive measure, community involvement is important and indeed needed, but this step should not be misunderstood by the community so that its implementation actually encourages the process of stigmatization, discrimination, mutual suspicion between groups so that it has the potential to trigger conflicts and tensions between groups in society. 

Third, we view that the problems mapped out in RAN PE are very broad, but have not been accompanied by an adequate monitoring and evaluation system. This is very unfortunate, considering that it is so important in measuring the success rate of RAN PE implementation. In the context of monitoring and evaluation, it is important for the Government to also involve other stakeholders, including various elements of civil society, in order to ensure transparency and accountability of NAP PE.

Based on the above, Imparsial hopes that policies, strategies and practices for preventing and overcoming the threat of violent extremism within the framework of the NAP PE will be carried out by the government while still adopting the principles and standards of respect for human rights. Moreover, although RAN PE is addressed to ministries, institutions, and local governments, the government also needs to actively involve various other stakeholders, both in implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

Jakarta, January 20th, 2021

Gufron Mabruri (Director, 081213340612);

Ardimanto Putra (Vice Director, 081261944069);

Evitarosi Budiawan (Co-ordinator, 081219192143)

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