The law must truly be used as an instrument for educating and not as an instrument for targeting
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq Shihab kept his promise by showing up at the Jakarta Metropolitan Police headquarters at 10:30 a.m. local time, Saturday, for questioning over an alleged health protocol breach case.

This outspoken Muslim cleric was accosted by his team of lawyers and several top figures of FPI. He wore a face mask while arriving at the Jakarta Metropolitan Police Headquarters.

Shihab's lawyer, Aziz Yanuar, notified journalists that his client was prepared for detention if police investigators decided to do so following the questioning.

"Insya Allah (God willing), he (Habib Rizieq Shihab) is ready for any possibility because he is a fighter," Yanuar noted, adding that the team of lawyers had been ready to support Shihab if he was detained.

Yanuar spoke of his client and team of lawyers having given serious thought and readied necessary endeavors pertaining to the handling of this case.

On Friday evening, Shihab had made public his pledge to appear at the Jakarta Metropolitan Police headquarters on Saturday to answer the police's summons over the case of alleged health protocol breach.

In his public statement released by Front TV's YouTube channel, Shihab, who recently lost six of his guards that were killed early this week, claimed to have never escaped from or gotten rid of the legal process, though he needed to rest for complete health recovery.

"I have neither ever run away nor hidden. I repeat again, I have neither ever escaped nor hidden because during my health recovery process, I stayed much more at the Markas Syariah Agricultural Islamic Boarding School in Megamendung, West Java," he emphasized.

Shihab was named a suspect on Thursday along with five other people on grounds of violation of health protocols during the events at his home and the FPI headquarters in Jakarta last month.

The five other suspects are head of the events' organizing committee Haris Ubaidillah, secretary of the events' organizing committee Ali bin Alwi Alatas, FPI commander in charge of security affairs Maman Suryadi, FPI's general chairman responsible for the events Sobri Lubis, and Idrus, who was in charge of the events' rundown.

The Jakarta Metropolitan Police also appealed to the government's authorized agencies to impose 20-day travel bans on Shihab and five others to prevent them from traveling abroad.

Regarding the Shihab case, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) pressed for applying fair law enforcement in the case of this well-respected FPI leader to avoid any offense to the public sense of justice in communities.

"The law must truly be used as an instrument for educating and not as an instrument for targeting," MUI Deputy Chairman Anwar Abbas had earlier stated.

The police's decision to name Shihab as a suspect for violating health protocols in holding events that led to the congregation of people must reflect the use of law as an instrument to edify rather than target, Abbas stated.

Abbas emphasized that law enforcement against Shihab and his men over the cases of holding crowd-drawing events must also be imposed fairly and equally on other community members found breaching the government's COVID-19 protocols in the country.

Failing to implement the principle of fair law enforcement and public sense of justice would only create unrest among members of the public, he cautioned.

"To this end, we hope, without exception, that all people or parties that have breached the COVID-19 rules, as the police have accused Habib Rizieq Shihab of having done, would also be named suspects," he affirmed.

Early this week, Jakarta Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector General Fadil Imran declared that on-duty police investigation officers had shot dead six guards of the FPI leader for attacking them.

The incident took place on Monday, December 7, 2020, at 00:30 a.m. local time on the Jakarta-Cikampek KM 50 Toll Road, Imran revealed.

However, the FPI denied claims of its members having attacked police officers on grounds that they were unarmed.

Instead, Munarman affirmed that the fatal shooting was an extrajudicial killing. Hence, he urged to uncover the truth behind the incident by forming an independent fact-finding team that involved Indonesia's National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

Related news: FPI leader visits Jakarta police headquarters on Saturday

Related news: MUI demands fair law enforcement for public sense of justice


Translator: Fianda SR, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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