Police start investigating FPI leader blasphemy case
The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Police will soon question witnesses as part of the blasphemy case implicating Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab. The firebrand cleric was reported by two student associations for remarks he made in a sermon, the video of which has been distributed on the internet.
“We will question a number of witnesses such as information technology experts, crime experts, religious experts and others,” said Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Argo Yuwono as reported by tribunnews.com on Wednesday.
A case review will be carried out after the questioning of the witnesses, he added.
Rizieq was reported by the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) and Students Peace Institute (SPI) to the Jakarta Police after a video of the sermon was uploaded onto Twitter and Instagram.
In the 22-second-long video, Rizieq is recorded as saying: “If God gave birth, then who would be the midwife?”
Similar to Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is being tried at the North Jakarta District Court, Rizieq is also accused of violating Article 156 section (a) of the Criminal Code on blasphemy. The charge carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.
Asked if the case review of the Rizieq case would be carried out openly like Ahok’s case review, Argo said that it would be up to the investigators.
“Just wait for the investigation into the case,” said Argo, telling those who reported Rezieq to the police to be patient while the police were carrying out the investigation.
Rizieq was a prominent figure in massive demonstrations held recently in Jakarta to demand a police investigation into Ahok’s alleged blasphemy. (bbn)
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