Indonesian jails ban hardline group leader for COVID violation Coronavirus Epidemic News

Rijek Shihab pleaded guilty to several violations, including his daughter’s marriage, in which thousands took part.

An Indonesian court has sentenced orthodox cleric Rijik Shihab to eight months in prison and fined him 2 million Indonesian rupees (4 1,400) for allegedly violating the country’s coronavirus rules while returning home last year. Exile

The prison term comes several months after Indonesia Restricted Police shot dead his followers after a gun battle with the Islamic Defender Front (FPI).

A East Jakarta court on Thursday found that Rizik violated Indonesia’s health quarantine law by urging supporters to attend sermons, the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and his daughter’s wedding. All of them attracted thousands of people from countries facing the worst COVID-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia.

“The defendant has been found guilty of violating health protocol,” Judge Superman Nyompa said at the hearing. Rizik was also fined for attending an event at the Islamic Board School in West Java.

The live stream of the court hearing showed Rizik wearing a white tunic, a turban and a face mask and clutching a prayer bead.

He is in custody Decision in December And the court said his prison sentence would be reduced by three months to account for the time he had already worked.

Five other senior FPI members were sentenced to eight months in prison for organizing large gatherings.

The East Jakarta court was tight to ensure that security guards were kept away. About two dozen people were briefly arrested, according to local media [Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana/Reuters]

Around 1,000 police officers were deployed to guard the court before the verdict, but there was no major protest by his supporters. Local media have briefly detained about two dozen people.

Rizik returned to Indonesia in November after three years in Saudi Arabia, where he had fled after being accused of pornography and insulting state ideology. Both charges were later revoked.

Thousands of his followers flocked to the airport to celebrate his return and then joined the gathering in group events that were limited to meeting the rules.

His legal team claimed that the issues were politically motivated and part of an effort to silence the Muslim leader, who has a large and vocal following.

Shihab, who has been jailed in the past, has denied allegations that he was attacked by FPI members at an international rally in 2008 and appealed.

He was immediately arrested Jakarta police have shot dead six FPI followers in a gun battle on a highway That officers describe as an act of self-defense – disputed by a group.

The FPI has become politically influential in Indonesia in recent years, and was one of the most religiously extremist groups. Demonstrations in 2016 to accuse the Christian governor of Jakarta of blasphemy. Mass protests against the governor have raised concerns about the threat posed by President Joko Widodo’s government.

Last year, Indonesia banned radical groups.

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