Indonesian government to build special rehab centre for ex-terrorists

Indonesian government to build special rehab centre for ex-terrorists
A mock terrorist (L) and policemen (R) participate in an anti-terror drill in Banda Aceh on February 22, 2016.
PHOTO: AFP

The government is planning to build a special deradicalization centre for former terrorists in Sentul in Bogor, West Java, with the involvement of experts from a range of fields.

Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said the government would employ religious leaders and psychologists in the facility, in an attempt to resolve normal prisons' inability to deradicalize the radical because of a lack of funds and resources.

"This is not prison for terrorists [...] These are special blocks with maximum security," Yasonna said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday in Jakarta.

The deradicalization programme would be separate from the penitentiary management, Yasonna continued, in a bid to anticipate and prevent terrorist convicts from disseminating their radical views among other detainees.

Previously, he explained, prison officers were assigned the task of deradicalizing terror convicts; however, this programme had backfired, with at least three officers instead themselves converted to radicalism by the convicts.

National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) deradicalization director Irfan Idris said that if convicted terrorists were detained in normal prisons, they could disseminate radical teachings among other prisoners.

"[Thus] the centre is not a special prison, but a place for intensive counseling for ex-terrorists," Irfan told thejakartapost.com, adding that if the government established a special prison for the detention of terror convicts, the result would be a concentration and strengthening of radicalism.

The deradicalization centre is aimed at ensuring former terrorists do not return to radicalism, he added.

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