Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) has praised President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) for his efforts to secure the unconditional release of terror convict Abu Bakar Ba`asyir.
"That is a wise and noble legal step," MUI Vice Chairman Zainut Tauhid Saadi stated here on Saturday.
Saadi said MUI Chairman Ma`ruf Amin had once proposed the release of Ba`asyir early last year on health and humanitarian grounds.
The president arrived at the conclusion to free Ba`asyir soon following a lengthy deliberation process, he stated.
"MUI thanks God for the decision," he remarked.
The release of Ba`asyir suggested that the government, in handling terrorism cases, always upholds the principles of human rights and respects human dignity in accordance with the spirit of Law No. 8 of 2018 on counter-terrorism, he stated.
He urged the public to not harbor any assumption or make any allegation related to the release of Ba`asyir, as it could erase the legal essence.
Jokowi had earlier emphasized that Ba`asyir was given release based on humanitarian grounds.
"Yes, the first is indeed a humanitarian reason. This means that he is already old, yes, humanitarian considerations," President Jokowi stated after inspecting the Muhammadiyah Islamic Boarding School`s Flats in Nglampangsari Village, Cilawu, Garut, on Friday.
The president, who assigned his attorney Yusril Ihza Mahendra to seek the release of Ba`asyir, confirmed that the deteriorating condition of the convict`s health was the main consideration.
Ba`asyir has served a sentence of nine years of the total 15 years in criminal cases related to terrorism handed down to him.
Reporting by Anom Prihantoro, Suharto