On Monday morning (23/01) hundreds of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members conducted a protest march from the Al Azhar Mosque in South Jakarta to Police headquarters on Jalan Sudirman in Central Jakarta to protest against the questioning of FPI leader Rizieq Shihab. Jakarta Police summoned the FPI leader for questioning regarding a speech that was published on the FPI's YouTube channel.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 1,368,069 confirmed infections, 37,026 deaths (5 March 2021)
6 March 2021 (closed)
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Ahok's controversial blasphemy trial will continue. This is the decision of a panel of five judges that was announced on Tuesday (27/12) at the third session of the trial. At this session the judges of the Jakarta Court rejected defense arguments that the indictment contains inaccuracies, violates human rights and therefore should be annulled. The next session is scheduled for Tuesday 3 January 2017 at the Ministry of Agriculture building in South Jakarta. Blasphemy is an offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years in Indonesia.
Today (13/12) the first day of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Cahaya Purnama's blasphemy trial took place at the Central Jakarta District Court. During this first session the prosecution team explained how Ahok allegedly violated Article 156a of the Criminal Code through the content of a speech in Jakarta's Thousand Islands district in late September. Meanwhile, defendant Ahok and his lawyer delivered a note of objection.
Perhaps up to 150,000 protesters will gather in Central Jakarta today to demand the arrest of Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (Ahok). Most of the demonstrators are members of hard-line Islamic groups who use the spread of a manipulated video (on social media) as an excuse to try to topple Christian, ethnic Chinese Governor Ahok. In this manipulated video Ahok is shown insulting the teachings of the Quran. Despite the case going to trial at the North Jakarta District Court, it is the second mass anti-Ahok rally in Jakarta.
It is estimated that about 1.2 million Indonesians experiment with drugs (roughly 0.50 percent of the total population). Nurul Ilmi Idris, Professor at the Hasanuddin University in Makassar (Sulawesi), informed that the number of Indonesian experimental drug users has risen from 850,000 in 2008, to 1.1 million in 2011, and now - in 2016 - stands at 1.2 million. Increasing drug consumption in Indonesia is also reason why Indonesian President Joko Widodo allowed various executions in recent years - including various foreign drug traffickers killed by firing squad.
Today, Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) passed a new law that restricts financial transactions that are meant for the funding of terrorist or radical organizations. People or institutions engaged in such transactions will face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to US $10.5 million. Previously, Indonesia did not have a law that prevented such transactions. This new law is regarded as a good step for the battle against terrorism.
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Rizieq Shihab, leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (in Indonesian: Front Pembela Islam, or FPI), has been named a suspect of insulting the Pancasila (Indonesia's state ideology) by the West Java branch of Indonesian Police on Monday (30/01). Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of Indonesia's first president Sukarno, had filed a police report against Shihab after a speech surfaced in which the latter insulted and criticized the Pancasila as well as national hero Sukarno.
A high profile trial is about to start in Indonesia. On Tuesday (13/12) incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok), a Christian of Chinese descent, will visit the Jakarta Court for the first day of his trial. Ahok is prosecuted for blasphemy, an offense that carries a maximum prison sentence of five years in Indonesia. After the Vietnamese iced coffee murder case, this is another huge court case followed not only by the Indonesian people, but also by the international community that is concerned about rising intolerance in Indonesia.
Again we advise people, specifically expats, to stay away from Central Jakarta on Friday (02/12) when another massive rally is scheduled to take place. This second big protest rally, aimed against incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama (better known as Ahok), may attract more than 150,000 protesters and could become the scene of riots and other forms of violence in the capital city of Indonesia. Many businesses will keep their doors shut on Friday to anticipate the unpredictable situation.
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