The Jakarta Post
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has lambasted all forms of intimidation, violence and attempts to restrict freedom of speech by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI).
The FPI has committed terrorism by persecuting citizens accused of producing defamatory statements against the organization’s leader, Rizieq Shihab, on social media, forcing them to apologize under threat, says AJI.
“Such terror acts must not be allowed,” AJI leader Suwarjono said in a statement. “The arbitrary persecution by the FPI has violated the 1945 Constitution, which promotes and guarantees civilians’ right to assemble as well as to freely state opinions”.
The FPI has been targeting anyone who posts statements deemed insulting toward Islam and Islamic figures for the last two weeks. The actions began following the conviction of non-active Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in a blasphemy case.
Members of the organization, for example, intimidated 38-year-old female entrepreneur Indrie Soraya in Tangerang, Banten, and 40-year old physician Fiera Lovita in Solok, West Sumatra for insulting Rizieq.
The two could be charged under Article 28 on defamation of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, according to the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet).
To uphold the right to freedom of the speech, AJI has thus called on the National Police to take immediate action against the FPI’s arbitrary online persecution. (msa/wit)