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Jakarta Post

Police urged to be more critical in handling public reports

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 23, 2017   /  09:57 pm
Police urged to be more critical in handling public reports Claiming innocence -- Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab (center) speaks to journalists after his questioning at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Jan.23. (Antara/Reno Esnir)

Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab has warned the police that they should not accept without reservation all public reports filed with them, especially those that could trigger public uproar.

He made the statement after being questioned at the Jakarta Police headquarters over his claim that the newly issued rupiah banknotes contain a hammer and sickle logo. The claim has been reported as alleged hate speech aiming to provoke public anger.

Rizieq said that his case was an example of the police’s poor ability to analyze public reports, arguing that the case against him was so weak that, if the police continued to process it, people would think the police were criminalizing ulema, or Islamic teachers.

“If every little thing [I have done] is reported to the police, there will be a widespread perception among the public that ulemas are being criminalized."

“That’s why we ask the government to be more critical and not just accept without reservation all reports that can create false impressions among members of the public,” Rizieq said.

(Read also: FPI leader calls for withdrawal of banknotes with ‘communist symbol’)

Rizieq’s questioning on Monday was accompanied by a rally staged by hundreds of FPI members.

 Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said the police were not targeting Rizieq and were just processing the reports filed with them.

Apart from the hammer and sickle logo issue, two other police reports have been filed against Rizieq. They comprise one count of alleged defamation of the nation’s first president Sukarno and the nation’s founding ideology Pancasila, as well as alleged blasphemy against Christianity.

The FPI leader is currently being investigated by the West Java Police over his alleged defamation of Sukarno, based on a report submitted by the late founding father’s daughter, Sukmawati Soekarnoputri. (ebf)

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