Firza Husein, a key witness in an ongoing pornography case allegedly implicating firebrand Islamist cleric Rizieq Shihab, remained tight-lipped as she underwent interrogation by Jakarta Police on Tuesday (16/05).(Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

Rizieq Shihab One Step Away From Being Named a Suspect


JANUARY 18, 2017

Jakarta. West Java Police have moved into investigation phase of the legal process against Islamic Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab, who is accused of insulting the official state ideology Pancasila.

"We are now completing the post-questioning files. Hopefully, the dossier will be ready soon," West Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said on Wednesday (18/01).

Rizieq had to answer 22 questions during the questioning. He will not be summoned during the investigation phase, unless it is necessary.

"In the first phase, there were 13 witnesses, including experts," Yusri said.

Based on a video submitted to police by Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of former President Sukarno, Rizieq said that "Sukarno's Pancasila has belief in God in the ass, while the Jakarta Charter keeps it in the head."

During the drafting phase of the 1945 Constitution, several organizations insisted on adding to Pancasila the obligation for Muslims to follow Islamic law. This compromise was called the Jakarta Charter. Eventually, before the proclamation of Indonesia's independence, both the secular and religious leaders decided that the obligation should be dropped.

Rizieq is facing a string of police reports, ranging from blasphemy and hate speech to defamation. Several West Java organizations also reported him for mocking Sundanese culture by making a pun on "sampurasun," the Sundanese word for "hello," and "campur racun" ("mixed with poison").

He was recently reported to the Jakarta Police for a speech that went viral on social media, in which he allegedly said the new rupiah banknotes featured the hammer-and-sickle symbol that resembles the logo of the long-disbanded and prohibited Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

Several watchdog organizations and experts have called on the National Police to fast-track the investigations against him.

Rizieq Shihab