Police have put on hold their investigation into a pornography case allegedly involving firebrand Islamic Defenders Front cleric Rizieq Shihab, center, who is currently on the run in Saudi Arabia. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Immigration Office to Revoke Firebrand Cleric Rizieq Shihab's Passport


JUNE 01, 2017

Jakarta. The Immigration Office plans to revoke the passport of firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab, who has so far successfully avoided a police probe into a pornography scandal, an official said on Wednesday (31/05).

Police named Rizieq a suspect in that case earlier this week and issued a warrant for his arrest on Tuesday, a day before including the leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) on their most wanted list.

Ronny Sompie, the director general for immigration at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, said his office will wait to receive the wanted list from police before revoking Rizieq's passport.

"The passport revocation is necessary to allow the immigration office of the country he is currently residing in to assist our government in bringing him back," Ronny said in Jakarta.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said information from the Immigration Office revealed that Rizieq left the country with his family on April 26 for the umrah, or mini pilgrimage to Mecca, and is still thought to be in Saudi Arabia.

"This has prompted us to include him on our wanted list," Argo said on Wednesday.

Rizieq, who has spent years preaching conservative Islamic values, is accused of violating Indonesia's strict anti-pornography laws by exchanging graphic messages and nude pictures with Firza Husein.

The FPI leader previously failed to meet two police summonses as a witness in the case.

Police also named Firza a suspect earlier this month, and have prevented her from travelling abroad for the next six months.

Under Indonesia's anti-pornography law and its Electronic Information and Transaction (ITE) law, both Firza and Rizieq could face at least five years in prison if found guilty.