November 27, 2020, 03.15 AM

JAKARTA, – The Indonesian National Police is set to take further action against the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) for repeatedly flouting health protocols following the return of their exiled chief Rizieq Shihab earlier this month.

Jakarta Metropolitan Police investigators looking into the group’s celebrations of the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and the wedding of Rizieq’s daughter led the way.

“[The Jakarta Metropolitan Police] has decided to step up efforts against the FPI from an inquiry into a full investigation,” said Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Chief Commissioner Yusri Yunus on November 26.

Also read: Jakarta Extends Transitory PSBB to December 6, 2020

“We found evidence that the FPI violated health protocols under a 2018 law on health quarantines.”

He added that police are searching for further proof such as circulars on the events, and summoned 15 people who are known to be in attendance at the gatherings.

Police in West Java also launched a full investigation of Rizieq’s activities in the province, following the fanfare he received during a visit to an FPI-run religious school near the city of Bogor.

FPI head Rizieq Shihab speaks during a visit to an FPI-run religious school in Bogor, West Java [13/11/2020]KOMPAS.COM/AFDHALUL IKHSAN FPI head Rizieq Shihab speaks during a visit to an FPI-run religious school in Bogor, West Java [13/11/2020]

Also read: Indonesian National Police Takes Fallout from Return of Political Firebrand

“[The police] also summoned epidemiologists to determine [any wrongdoing by the FPI],” said West Java Police spokesman Police Chief Commissioner CH Patoppoi. “Our investigators are also investigating CCTV footage of the events, as well as the FPI’s Front TV Youtube channel.”

The police and civil service have taken the brunt of the fallout from Rizieq’s return to Indonesia following three years of exile in Saudi Arabia.

The national police fired the chiefs of the Jakarta and West Java Regional Police for failing to enforce health protocols. The police also questioned Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil for allowing the gatherings to take place.

The FPI gatherings also raised concerns about the spread of more Covid-19 clusters in Jakarta.

(Writers: Muhammad Isa Bustomi, Agie Permadi, Bandung Contributor | Editors: Nursita Sari, Farid Assifa)


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