JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sought clarification from the German Embassy on the presence of an embassy staff member at the secretariat of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in Petamburan, Central Jakarta on Thursday, December 17.
The visit occurred a day before the ‘18/12’ protest held by the FPI and one of its affiliate organizations in defiance of the Jakarta Metropolitan Police, which refused to issue a permit for the demonstration on grounds it went against the government’s health protocol guidelines.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Embassy charge d’affaires explained that the visit had nothing to do with the embassy.
“The chargé d'affaires stated that the presence of the staff at the [FPI] Secretariat was [the staff’s] personal initiative without the knowledge…nor under the instruction from the embassy,” the Ministry said in its website.
They added that the embassy assured that the staff in question has been ordered to return to Germany to account for her actions.
“The [German Embassy] also denied various statements [of support] made by [the FPI]. He stressed that the [visit] does not reflect the policies of the [German] Government....and firmly denied that the … [visit] was a form of Germany’s support for the [FPI].”
The embassy also pledged to “continue bilateral cooperation with Indonesia in fighting intolerance, radicalism, and hate speech”.
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The German Deutsche Welle media outlet reported that the embassy “regrets the impression that the incident made in public and with our Indonesian partners”, and denied any political intent.
The Jakarta Metropolitan Police arrested more than 450 people in the ‘18/12’ protest last Friday for carrying weapons and drugs before they dispersed the protest. The FPI organized the demonstration along with an affiliate called the National Anti Communist Alliance (ANAK).
The FPI used the gathering to protest the arrest of their chief Rizieq Shihab, and the killing of six of their members at a toll road outside Jakarta by the police earlier this month.
(Writer: Rakhmat Nur Hakim | Editors: Diamanty Meiliana, Bayu Galih)
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