Below is the latest update on the trail of the three Indonesian housewives on trial for teaching Sunday School.
The judges in the case are facing extreme pressure from Islamic radicals who are being bused to the trial site each day. The judges have faced veiled threats from the extremists who are demanding “justice”.
The court case began June 30 and is tried only on Thursdays. It is imperative that you call the embassy and protest now.
Please call the Indonesian Embassy today and register a polite but firm protest over the trial in West Java of Rebecca Laonita, Ratna Mala Bangun, and Ety Pangesti. They are charged with Christianization or trying to convert Muslim children.
Indonesian Embassy US
2020 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel. – 202 – 775 – 5200;
Fax. 202 – 775 5365
Indonesian Embassy UK
Tel. (020) 7499 7661
Fax. (020) 7491 4993
Indonesian Embassy Canada
Post Mail: 55 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa , Ontario
Phone: (613) 724-1100
Fax: (613) 724-1105
Before the case began the Islamic radicals took over the court for more than an hour, conducted an Islamic worship service and conducted a serious of speeches using a megaphone stating:
1. If the three ladies are not found guilty or are given a light sentence then they have a plan and will bring Islamic justice and are willing to shed their own blood in jihad. They said it would be the sweet smelling blood of martyrdom.
2. The three ladies would never be forgiven and would never be allowed to return to their village in peace.
3. That they would wipe the smiles off the faces of the three women.
4. That anyone who has stood with and supported the three ladies share in their guilt and would share in their punishment.
5. That they were not afraid of the Christians because Islam is the one and true religion and is far more glorious than Christianity and it is backed up by the power of Allah.
When the proceedings began, the court today was relatively quiet with only a few murmerings and interjections of “Lies!” “Haram! (Unclean)”.
The main points of the Defense were:
1. The Prosecutor in his summation had listed all the witnesses and summarized their testimonies. However, several that were named as witnesses whose testimonies were quoted had not in fact testified, and had not even attended the case or been sworn in.
2. That none of the witnesses had actually seen, heard or experienced the Happy Sunday program and had only presented hearsay reports and therefore there existed no evidence of any wrong doing.
3. That no evidence was presented to prove the charge that they had “deliberately lied”, “deceived”, “forced the children to change religion” or that the children had attended “against their own will”.or “without parental consent”. Since no one had testified or provided any evidence that the 3 ladies had deliberately lied, used deception, forced the children to change their religion, that they had attended against their own will or without the permission of their families was not proved. Furthermore – all witnesses, including the Prosecutor had said they were still Muslims and had never changed their religion, and that the children had attended freely and with parental permission was proved by the photographic evidence of their parents participating in Happy Sunday activities.
4. That the panel of judges should dismiss all charges, find the three ladies not guilty, and release them from prison.
As soon as the Defense finished, the Judges stated that the verdict would be announced next Thursday 10.00 am Jakarta time, and they then closed the session. As the radicals began leaving the court some began shouting “Allahu akbar” and “Baldy” of the chief judge, but their minders quickly quieted them and ordered them out and on to the trucks.