Representatives of several mass groups reporting Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) spokesman Munarman to the Bali Police for defamation on Monday (16/01). (Antara Photo/Nyoman Budhiana)

Mass Groups Report FPI's Munarman for Alleged Defamation

BY :I NYOMAN MARDIKA

JANUARY 16, 2017

Denpasar. Several mass groups have reported Munarman, spokesman for the Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, to police for alleged defamation of Bali's traditional security guards, known locally as pecalang.

The report was filed by dozens of local mass groups, including the Sandi Murti Foundation, Ansor Youth Group, Bali Nahdlatul Ulama and Patriot Garuda Nusantara, to the Bali Police in Denpasar on Monday (16/01)

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I Gusti Agung Ngurah Harta, founder and chairman of Sandi Murti Foundation, said Munarman had lied when he told a meeting with representatives from news broadcaster Kompas TV that pecalang had been used in Bali to attack homes of Muslims and prohibit them to do Friday prayers.

During the meeting, Munarman protested Kompas TV for what he called a biased angle in reporting a raid on food stalls in Serang, Banten, during the fasting month of Ramadan last year. The report captured public attention and sympathy for food stall owner Saeni, who shed tears during the raid by the Public Order Agency.

Harta said the relationship between Bali's Hindus and Muslims has been respectful and good for decades.

"We want to report this defamation, since there were no such things [attacks on Muslims and prohibition on Islamic Friday prayer] here. We live peacefully. No pecalang officers have ever prohibited Muslims from praying. To the contrary, they safeguard the prayers," Harta told reporters at the Bali Police headquarters.

The report will be handled by the Bali Police's cybercrime unit.

The plaintiffs also submitted a YouTube video titled "FPI Meets and Reprimands Kompas TV over Anti-Shariah News Framing" to police.

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