Anies and Muhaimin Visit Rizieq


Jakarta, – Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan and his running mate, Muhaimin Iskandar, paid a visit to the controversial Muslim cleric Rizieq Syihab at his private residence in Jakarta on Wednesday evening.

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A politician from the National Awakening Party (PKB), who accompanied them, said that the visit had no political agenda.

“They were attending the wedding of Rizieq Syihab’s daughter in Petamburan,” said PKB Deputy Chairman Jazilul Fawaid.

Rizieq is the former leader of the now-defunct hardline group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which frequently clashed with security authorities in the past over religious issues.

He has also been a vocal critic of President Joko Widodo and spent approximately two years in self-exile in Saudi Arabia prior to the 2019 presidential election.

Upon his return in November 2020, he stirred controversy by organizing large gatherings at several events, disregarding health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He ignored police summons for questioning related to these incidents, and a high-speed pursuit of his convoy on a highway a month later resulted in the fatal shooting of six of his guards by the police.

Read also: Democratic Party Disavows Anies Baswedan’s Coalition over Running Mate Dispute

Rizieq eventually turned himself in to the police and was immediately detained on December 12, 2020.

In June 2021, he was found guilty of providing false information about his medical condition, allegedly related to Covid-19, and of inciting public unrest. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

However, in November, the Supreme Court reduced his prison term by half upon his appeal. The panel of justices determined that there was no evidence of public unrest resulting from his actions.

In July 2022, Rizieq was granted parole and has since maintained a low profile.

The government disbanded the FPI, citing that at least 35 members or former members of the group were implicated in terrorism, with 29 of them being convicted. Additionally, 206 FPI members were involved in other criminal activities, with at least 100 of them being found guilty by the courts.

Source Jakarta Globe
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