Securitization of Terrorism and Human Rights Protection in Indonesia


This article discusses Indonesia’s strategy to overcome terrorism which is slightly different from the global approach to counter-terrorism that uses a war strategy and involves regular troops. The Indonesian strategy results from a tug-of-war between the government and civil forces, namely Islamic groups and human rights organizations. Civil society groups, to some extent, have succeeded in preventing the use of military methods that have harmful implications for human rights. Using the securitization theory, this article reveals how government, Islamic groups, and human rights proponents contest to win influence in society. If the government undertakes securitization, civil society groups conduct desecuritization and place problems in law enforcement and human rights. The authors have used media reports, documents, and interviews to strengthen the analysis.

Keywords: terrorism, Indonesia, human rights, Islam, and civil society

[1] Buzan B, Hansen L. The Evolution of International Security Studies Widening and deepening security [Internet]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2009 [cited 2019 Feb 7]. p. 187–225. Available from: identifier/CBO9780511817762A050/type/book_part

[2] Buzan B, Weaver O, de Wilde J. Security – A new framework for analysis. Colorado: Lynne Rinner Publishers, Inc., Boulder; 1998.

[3] McDonald M. Securitization and the construction of security. European Journal of International Relations. 2008;14(4):563–587.

[4] Charrett C. A critical application of securitization theory: Overcoming the normative dilemma of writing security. SSRN Electronic Journal. 2009.

[5] Bigo D. Security and immigration: Toward a critique of the governmentality of unease. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. 2002;27(1):63–92.

[6] Balzacq T. Securitization theory: how security problems emerge and dissolve [Internet]. Balzacq T, editor. Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge; 2011 [cited 2022 Apr 13]. A theory of securitization: Origins, core assumptions, and variants. p. 1–30. Available from:

[7] Juwana H. Catatan singkat RUU anti terorisme [Brief notes on the antiterrorism bill,Internet]. Indonesia:; 2002 Jun 1 [cited 2019 Sep 20]. Available from:

[8] Hamzah Haz: Keberadaan teroris di Indonesia baru sebatas wacana [Hamzah Haz: The Existence of Terrorists in Indonesia is Just a Discourse,Internet]. Indonesia:; 2003 Dec 5 [cited 2019 Sep 20]. Available from:

[9] Menko polkam: Terorisme di depan mata kita presiden kutuk keras aksi peledakan bom kompas [Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs: Terrorism is right in front of our eyes, the president strongly condemns the Kompas bomb blast]. Indonesia:; 2002 Oct 14.

[10] Raharjo A. Problematika Asas Retroaktif Dalam Hukum Pidana Indonesia[Retroactive Principles in Indonesian Criminal Law]. Jurnal Diamika Hukum. 2008;8(1):70-80.

[11] Lubis TM. Kasus Perpu/RUU tindak pidana terorisme masyarakat sipil dan kebijakan negara [Cases of Perpu/RUU criminal acts of terrorism by civil society and state policies]. Indonesia:; 2003.

[12] Marbun H. Implementasi peran tni dalam mengatasi terorisme [Implementation of the role of the military in overcoming terrorism,Internet]. 2008 [cited 2019 Sep 28]. Available from:

[13] Imparsial. Implikasi perang melawan terorisme terhadap penegakan HAM di Indonesia [Unpublished Yearly Imparsial Report]. 2009.

[14] Artharini I. Penyebab kematian terduga teroris Siyono terungkap [Cause of death of suspected terrorist Siyono revealed]. BBC News Indonesia [Internet]. 2016 Apr 11 [cited 2022 Apr 13]. Available from: berita_indonesia/2016/04/160411_indonesia_autopsi_siyono#:$\sim$:text=$\sim%20$:text=Hasil%20autopsi%20Komnas%20HAM%2C%20Persatuan,yang%20mengarah%20ke%20jaringan%20jantung.