The Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Police have named Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab and five other people suspects for holding crowd-pulling events in his house and at the group’s headquarters in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, in breach of COVID-19 health protocol last month.
“The result of our investigation concludes that there are six suspects in this case. The first is MRS [Rizieq], who is charged under articles 160 and 216 of the Criminal Code,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said on Thursday as reported by kompas.com.
Violations of Article 160 on the incitement of criminal acts can be punished with up to six years of imprisonment. Meanwhile Article 216 of the Criminal Code stipulates a prison sentence of up to four months and two weeks for those found guilty of obstructing law enforcement efforts.
Rizieq is once again at the center of public scrutiny following his return from self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 10. Not long after his arrival, the FPI held an event to commemorate Maulid (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday) and the wedding of Rizieq’s daughter in Petamburan on Nov. 15 that pulled in thousands of his supporters, drawing ire from the public. He was fined Rp 50 million by the Jakarta administration for disregarding health protocols.
Besides the controversial leader, other FPI members named suspects include the head of the event organizer identified as HU, the organizer’s secretary A and the organizer’s security division head MS.
Two more suspects are the organizer’s guarantor SL and the organizer’s event division head HI.
“We have upgraded the status of these six people from witnesses to suspects,” Yusri said adding that the move came following a case expose conducted by the Jakarta Police’s general crimes unit on Tuesday.
Police have summoned Rizieq several times for questioning regarding the alleged health protocol violations, but he has yet to heed the call.
The crowds at FPI headquarters and Rizieq’s residence in Petamburan as well as at another public gathering at his Islamic boarding school in Megamendung, West Java, had prompted a police investigation into the alleged violations. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil have been questioned as witnesses in the case.
National Police chief Gen. Idham Azis also removed Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Nana Sudjana and West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi from their posts for their failure to enforce coronavirus health protocol. (ami)