The Jakarta Police will summon two witnesses for questioning in the pornography investigation against Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab on Tuesday (16/05). (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Islamic Defenders Front to Go Ahead With Anti-Ahok Protest Despite Police Ban

BY :FAROUK ARNAZ & EKO PRASETYO

NOVEMBER 23, 2016

Jakarta. FPI, or Islamic Defenders Front, leader Habib Rizieq Shihab said his organization will go ahead with its plan to take to the streets of Jakarta in another massive anti-Ahok protest on Dec. 2, despite no longer getting the support of the Indonesian Ulema Council and in defiance of an official ban from the police.

After being questioned as an expert witness in Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy investigation at the police’s criminal investigation unit for 3.5 hours on Wednesday (23/11), Rizieq claimed the government has no right to ban the protest since the right to do so is guaranteed by Indonesia's Constitution.

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"Turning up for the Dec. 2 protest is protected by Law No. 9/1998. No one can ban it," Rizieq said.

He then quoted article 18 paragraphs 1 and 2 of the law, which said that, "whoever obstructed or blocked a protest using violence may face a year imprisonment."

"So, if the president, police chief or anyone tries to block a peaceful rally guaranteed by the Constitution, then they could be jailed for a year. The 212 [Dec. 2] protest will go on, it's protected by our own law," Rizieq said.

The firebrand leader said the focus of the "212" protest will be to call on the immediate arrest of the Jakarta governor since he has already been declared a suspect in the blasphemy investigation.

"Everyone, including the president, should respect the Constitution. The 212 protest is constitutional, it is not a coup," Rizieq said.

Rizieq questions motive behind police summon

The FPI frontman also questioned the motive behind another police summon for him to appear as a witness in a defamation case against the president on Thursday (24/11).

"The summon letter does not mention the name of the defendant. A summon letter should be clear. I don't mind appearing as a witness, but who is the defendant?" Rizieq said.

Rizieq said the Jakarta police should be more professional and send him a complete summon letter before Thursday.

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