Until today, there is no evidence or indication that the government of Indonesia has barred Habib Rizieq from coming home.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD claimed the absence of any valid evidence that the government had barred Muslim cleric Rizieq Shihab from returning to Indonesia.

Mahfud stated here on Tuesday that the claim made by the Islamic Defender Front (FPI) leader was baseless.

"Until today, there is no evidence or indication of the Government of Indonesia having barred Habib Rizieq from coming home," the minister remarked.

Mahfud believed it would be impossible for the government to impose the almost 1.5-year ban for Shihab since the regulation only allows a six-month ban.

Rizieq had departed from Indonesia in May 2017 and is still living in Saudi Arabia.

"We must clarify this issue with the Saudi Arabian government on why he is barred (from returning home). We know nothing about this," Mahfud stated.

He called on Shihab to provide the document showing the ban for him.

"Tell me if there is a document that proves the government has barred him from returning home," Mahfud stated.

Through a video displaying a teleconference at the FPI headquarter, November 8, Shihab showed two documents he said as letters that banned him from exiting Saudi Arabia.

Shihab affirmed that the prohibition was based on security grounds as requested by the Indonesian government.

Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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