Reports Against Rizieq Shihab Should Focus on Hate Speech: Watchdog


DECEMBER 28, 2016

Jakarta. Research organization Setara Institute has said reports against Islamic Defender's Front, or FPI, leader Rizieq Shihab should focus on hate speech rather than religious blasphemy charges.

Setara Institute chairman Hendardi on Tuesday (27/12) said the report submitted by the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) to the Jakarta Police is a legal measure available to any citizen.

“However, from the perspective of human rights, the use of religious blasphemy against Rizieq Syihab is also a setback for religious freedom,” he said.

Setara Institute — which conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights — said complaints against Rizieq's statements should focus on hate speech.

“In such situation, it is better for the public not to be reactive in responding to the report. Let the law enforcers work to ensure whether any criminal action is evident,” Hendardi said.