Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq Shihab, now the self-proclaimed 'High Priest' of Indonesian Muslims. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Hundreds of Lawyers Ready to Bring On Blasphemy Charge Against Rizieq Shihab


JANUARY 03, 2017

Jakarta. A group of Catholic students has prepared a teamĀ of 149 lawyers to assist with its blasphemy report against firebrand Muslim cleric Rizieq Shihab of the hardline group Islamic Defenders' Front.

The case is now under investigation by the Jakarta Police, after the report was submitted by the Association of Indonesian Catholic Students (PMKRI) against Rizieq last month.

Representatives from the PMKRI and the team of lawyers met in Jakarta on Tuesday (03/01). They argued that Rizieq's public remarks addressing Christmas celebrations last month were blasphemous.

"This is a problem that doesn't just affect us, but everyone in this country," PMKRI chairman Angelius Wake Kako told the press.

"Everyone as long as they are qualified can take part in this legal team," he added. The team currently comprises 149 lawyers.

Petrus Selestinus, the leader of the team, said: "The crux of the matter is that acts of intolerance have been undermining our national harmony."

A video showing Rizieq delivering a speech in Jakarta last month, which reportedly contained critical comments about Christmas celebrations, has been circulating on social media, prompting the PMKRI to file a police report against him for alleged blasphemy.