FPI’s secretary Munarman said: “[Rizieq] hopes that the case against will not divert public attention from the police killing of six FPI members on a toll road outside Jakarta.” The incident left four FPI members at large.
The police said they killed the FPI members after the latter crashed into a police car shadowing them. The men then started to attack with sharp weapons and guns. The FPI denied instigating the attack.
The police brought various charges against Rizieq, among them violating health protocols, inciting violence, and obstructing a police investigation.
The police focused on him after he held large gatherings that violated health protocols, soon after he returned from three years of exile in Saudi Arabia on Novembe 10.
These include celebrations near his residence in Petamburan, Central Jakarta to mark the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, as well as his daughter’s wedding reception on November 14.
2. Indonesian Government Scrapped Plans to Reconcile with FPI
Indonesia’s security czar has denied allegations that the government plans to mend fences with the Islamic Defenders Front and its chief Rizieq Shihab before the latter’s return from exile in Saudi Arabia last November.
“I would like to emphasize that the government has no plans to reconcile with Rizieq and the FPI," said Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD on Saturday, December 12. "But we did plan to start talks in a neutral country before he returned to Indonesia.”
However, the talks broke down because the terms that Rizieq and the FPI set for reconciliation with the government were too steep.
“We were surprised by [Rizieq’s] speech [on arriving in Indonesia] calling for the government to release a number of men convicted of terrorism and other crimes,” Mahfud said. Rizieq fled to Saudi Arabia in 2017 to evade pornography charges laid against him by the police.