Police suspend detainment of stamped red-and-white flag carrier

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Jakarta Metropolitan Police Command investigators have suspended the detainment of 28 year-old Nurul Fahmi, who was arrested for carrying a red-and-white flag stamped with Arabic writings and a sword symbol.

Chief of the National Police Forces Public Relations Division Senior Commissioner Awi Setiyono said in Jakarta on Tuesday that Ustad Arifin Ilham, along with the suspects wife, volunteered themselves as guarantors for temporary release.

"Ilham and the suspects wife came over to us and proposed the adjournment of imprisonment," Setiyono said.

He added that the investigators had subjective considerations before they arrived at this conclusion.

The police had expressed confidence after they received direct guarantee from a religious figure that Fahmi would not attempt to escape, try to eliminate the evidence, or repeat the action in future, he stated.

Fahmis wife had given birth 12 days ago, and they believe she would need her husbands support.

South Jakarta Police Chief Senior Commissioner Iwan Kurniawan also said that the suspect was cooperative during the entire investigation process.

Fahmi was previously reported to the police by a member of Masyarakat Cinta Damai Wardaniman on Jan 19.

The latter made the report while referring to the State Regulation number 24 in 2009 about defaming the state symbol.

The authorities then arrested Fahmi in South Jakarta on Friday.

Fahmi was carrying a red-and-white (Indonesian) flag stamped with Arabic writings and a sword symbol while participating in the Islamic Defenders Front rally in front of the National Police Headquarters on Jan 16.

Prior to Fahmis case, there were a number of events that involved the red-and-white Indonesian flag being stamped with other marks, including during rock band Metallicas concert in Jakarta in 2013, a number of public rallies in Jakarta, and the event when the flag was imprinted with the face of a national singer.

During all these events, the Indonesian police force had not taken any actions to investigate the circumstances or the individuals involved.(*)