Response depends on threat posed: MHA

A resident painting over an ISIS flag in Solo, Central Java.
A resident painting over an ISIS flag in Solo, Central Java. PHOTO: TEMPO

Individuals in the early stages of radicalisation, and assessed to not pose a serious threat, may not be arrested at all. Instead, they could simply be referred for counselling.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) mentioned this yesterday while giving a detailed description of what happens after a report is made about a possibly radicalised individual.

The MHA spokesman said checks would be carried out to assess the veracity of a report. The checks would include speaking to the informer, whose identity would be protected.

If no indications of radicalisation are detected, no further action would be taken against the person reported, as well as the informer.

But if there is a basis to suspect radicalisation, that person would be interviewed by the authorities.

"How the investigation develops depends largely on the finding and the authorities' assessment of the threat posed by the individual," said the spokesman.

If found to be in the "nascent stages of radicalisation, he or she may be referred for counselling and other mitigating measures without the need for arrest", said the MHA.

The ministry said early reporting enables an individual who is at risk of being radicalised to be steered away from that path.

"(The individual) may not need to be severely dealt with under the law," said the MHA.

But the ministry added that it would not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act against anyone who is radicalised and has engaged in terrorist conduct.

"This includes any person who supports, promotes, undertakes or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how he rationalises such violence ideologically, or where the violence takes place," said the spokesman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2017, with the headline 'Response depends on threat posed: MHA'. Print Edition | Subscribe