Minister denies accusation to bar Rizieq from returning to Indonesia

Minister denies accusation to bar Rizieq from returning to Indonesia

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto speaks to the press after a meeting on domestic current affairs in jakarta on Friday (19/7/2019). ANTARA/Fauzi Lamboka

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto denied accusation that the government has barred leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Rizieq Shihab from returning to Indonesia.

"There is no ban (for Rizieq Shihab's) entry to Indonesia. There is no attempt to bar him from returning to Indonesia," Wiranto stressed here on Friday, after a ministerial meeting on the latest situation in the country.

He said, Rizieq has yet to return to Indonesia due to his personal problem of overstaying in Saudi Arabia.

"There is a charge from (Saudi's) government against Rizieq Shihab, that he have to bear the consequence for staying longer then he was allowed," Wiranto elaborated.

Present at the meeting were Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, Indonesian Military Chief Air Chief Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto, and Head of the National Agency for Combating Terrorism (BNPT) Comm.Gen Suhardi Alius.

Before leaving for Mecca, Saudi Arabia to go on umrah (minor haj) in 2017, Rizieq was charged in connection with a pornography case and for insulting Pancasila.

He remained in the Islamic holy city despite his visa having expired in July 2018.

Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel said, Rizieq would have to pay an overstay fine of some Rp110 million (US$7,099) before he could be allowed to return to Indonesia.

FPI General Secretary Munarman said that the police has issued an investigation termination warrant (SP3) for cases that involved Rizieq Shihab.

The organization has made all efforts to help Rizieq return to the country, he said.

"It is not that Habib Rizieq does not want to return home, but he cannot go home because he is barred from leaving Saudi's territory on demand of the authority here," Munarman noted.
 

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