Jakarta: The Indonesian government is bringing together dozens of convicted Islamic militants and survivors of attacks in what it hopes will be an important step in combating radicalism and fostering reconciliation.
About 120 reformed militants will apologize to dozens of victims including survivors of the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, according to Irfan Idris, director of de-radicalization at Indonesia’s counter-terrorism agency.
The three days of meetings at a Jakarta hotel that began Monday aren’t open to the media except for an event on the final day. “Many militant convicts have changed and are taking the right course with us by drawing on their experience to prevent others from taking up violence,” Idris told The Associated Press. “These facts have inspired us to reconcile them with their victims.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation and third-biggest democracy, has imprisoned hundreds of Islamic militants in the years since the Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people, mostly foreigners. But its efforts at convincing imprisoned militants to renounce violence have had mixed results.