Jakarta, Indonesia — Residents of a village in northeastern Indonesia’s Aceh province say they have received “ridiculously” harsh treatment from authorities who they say are targeting Muslim families, residents of a neighboring town said Wednesday.
The residents, all from the town of Akar, said authorities ordered them to leave their homes, cut off electricity and water, and shut off phone services in an apparent attempt to intimidate and harass them.
“I went out to feed my dogs.
I got in the car, and the police came to my house,” said Mohammed Alpamudah, 32, who is from the neighboring village of Sankul and is one of several families that live in the village.
Authorities in Aceh city told Alpumudah that they had received complaints from residents about the residents’ behavior, but said they did not have enough evidence to charge them.
Alpumsudah said he believed he was targeted because he is a member of the local Muslim community.
“I don’t understand why they are targeting Muslims,” he said.
Officials have not released the identity of the people who are being targeted in Akari.
In Sankula, residents said they had been ordered to leave the area.
An official with Aceh state police told local media that they were investigating the complaint, but the official did not provide any details.
Aceh, a Muslim majority province in Indonesia, is home to more than 5 million people.
It has a sizable population of Muslim Rohingya, who are mostly ethnic Hazara Muslims who live in neighboring Myanmar and Bangladesh.
In 2015, a U.N. report said Aceh, which is home a large Muslim population, is “one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world.”
The report said ethnic Hazaras, Muslims and others are discriminated against in Aceharan and other parts of the province.
Police have been investigating several cases of violence and abuse in Aceha, including a rape and the killing of a woman last year.
On Wednesday, police in Sankulu, the main city in the area, said that police officers had arrested a man suspected of carrying out a murder in which a woman was raped and her body was dumped near a mosque.