Indonesian court ruling on breach of Covid-19 curbs to be delivered today

The decision of the Indonesian court on the trial of a hardline Muslim cleric indicted for coronavirus curbs violation as well as for instigating his followers to attend mass gatherings after his return will be delivered today.

The court hearing held on a livestream presented the spiritual leader of an outlawed Islamist vigilante group ― the Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI) ― Rizieq Shihab wearing a white tunic, turban and face mask while holding on to prayer beads.

After fleeing to Saudi Arabia three years ago due to charges of pornography and insulting the state ideology which were dropped later, Rizieq returned to Indonesia in November. About 3,000 of the police force have been deployed to guard the courthouse in East Jakarta even before the date of the verdict.

Despite the coronavirus curbs set in place, limiting social gatherings as Indonesia struggle with the worst coronavirus outbreak across Southeast Asia, thousands of Rizieq’s followers still crowded at the airport to greet him for his return as well as attended mass gatherings in the following days.

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The Asian Affairs

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