Another Police Report Filed Against FPI's Rizieq, Adding to Long List of Complaints


JANUARY 09, 2017

Jakarta. Rizieq Shihab, leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, was reported to the Jakarta Police again on Sunday (08/01) for alleged incitement related to comments he made about Indonesia's new rupiah banknotes.

The Anti-Slander Young Intellectual Network (Jimaf) accused Rizieq of having spread a hoax and hate speech based on race, religion, ethnicity and group affiliation.

In a speech that went viral on social media, Rizieq allegedly said the new rupiah banknotes feature the hammer-and-sickle symbol that resembles the logo of the long-disbanded and prohibited Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

"In his speech, Rizieq made up a story, which went viral, about the PKI logo being featured on the new banknotes, and he accused the government of having made a mistake. Meanwhile the government has always been firm against the PKI, which is a banned party," Jimaf coordinator M. Herdiyan Saksono Zoulba said in Jakarta on Sunday.


Herdiyan said Rizieq has triggered worries among the public and that the FPI leader's statement was unfounded.

Rizieq is charged with violating the 2016 Information and Electronics Transactions (ITE) Law, adding to an already long list of reports against him.

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mochamad Iriawan said Rizieq's statement constituted a form of incitement, as his organization had already received a proper explanation from Bank Indonesia, which denied the accusation related to the PKI logo on the new banknotes.

The police's criminal investigation unit is currently processing a report filed by the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) against Rizieq after he reportedly made comments during a speech that were critical of Christmas celebrations.

Interreligious youth organization Rumah Pelita earlier also reported Rizieq for alleged hate speech. Several watchdog organizations and experts have called on the National Police to fast-track their investigations against the FPI leader.