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Indonesia Denies Islamic State Claims That It Recruits Migrant Workers


FILE - A Sept. 2014 photo shows protesters holding posters during a rally against the Islamic State group, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

FILE - A Sept. 2014 photo shows protesters holding posters during a rally against the Islamic State group, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Indonesia's labor minister has rejected claims that the Islamic State has been trying to recruit his country's overseas migrant workers.

Labor Affairs Minister Hanif Dhakiri Thursday said Indonesians going abroad for work have to go through a special process for placement, making them different from people who leave the country for personal reasons, such as those who have joined Islamic State militants.

"So far control measures on labor recruitment agencies have not shown indications of migrant workers involvement with the [Islamic State] group,” he said.

The issue emerged recently when Hong Kong police discovered pamphlets with Symbols of the Islamic State group circulating among migrant domestic workers, many of them from Indonesia.

There are also allegations that migrant workers in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, including those from Indonesia, are joining the militant group.

Hundreds of Indonesians are believed to have joined Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq. But most of those are believed to have been first recruited inside Indonesia.

Jakarta has said it is planning to revoke the citizenships of those who have joined the group.

Officials said the radical group contradicts Indonesia’s pluralist state ideology, called Pancasila.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

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