Amien Rais, center, was reported to police for treason on Tuesday over alleged calls for mass action against the government if the result of the April 17 presidential election does not favor candidate Prabowo Subianto. (Antara Photo/Dhemas Reviyanto)

Police Study Treason Allegations Against Amien Rais, Rizieq Shihab and Bachtiar Nasir


MAY 16, 2019

Jakarta. Investigators are currently studying a police report containing treason allegations against prominent figures Amien Rais, Rizieq Shihab and Bachtiar Nasir.

Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Argo Yuwono said Dewi Ambarwati Tanjung, an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, reported the three individuals to police on Tuesday, assisted by her lawyers.

The case involves alleged calls for mass action against the government by supporters of Prabowo Subianto if the result of the April 17 simultaneous presential and legislative elections, which the General Elections Commission (KPU) is due to announce on May 22, are not in his favor.

The idea of mass action was first raised on March 31 by Amien Rais, founder of the National Mandate Party (PAN), which forms part of the coalition supporting Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno.


This was followed by a similar pronouncement by political activist Eggi Sudjana, a senior supporter of the candidate pair. Eggi was reported to police in separate case of treason and has been in custody  since Tuesday.

"Today, I report Amien Rais, H.R.S. and Bachtiar Nasir," Dewi said at Jakarta Police headquarters, referring to firebrand cleric "Habib" Rizieq Shihab by his initials.

Rizieq is the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a vigilante group that supported Prabowo-Sandiaga in last month's election. The cleric has been in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia since last year to evade arrest in a pornography case.

Bachtiar Nasir is he former chairman of the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) and another senior supporter of Prabowo-Sandiaga.

He fled to Saudi Arabia after police summoned him three times for questioning as a suspect in a money-laundering case. Police also summoned him on Thursday as a witness in the case of treason against Eggi.

"I saw H.R.S. in a video circulating in a WhatsApp group, calling for 'people power' and demanding that Jokowi step down. I also saw Bachtiar Nasir call for revolution many times on YouTube," Dewi said, referring to President Joko Widodo by his popular nickname.

Dewi provided supporting evidence for the allegation, including a CD containing recordings of the statements by Amien, Rizieq and Bachtiar.

She also plans to send a letter to the Saudi Arabian Embassy to ask that country's government to deport Rizieq and Bachtiar back to Indonesia.

"We have received the report. It is still being studied by investigators. An investigation will be conducted," the police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Argo said the result of the initial investigation will be announced soon.

"There will be clarification regarding the report. Whether it complies with the requirements of the Criminal Code or not," he said.

The three men may be charged with treason under articles 107 and 110 of the Criminal Code and they may face further charges under the 2008 Law on Electronic Information and Transactions.