Jakarta started the trial of Rizieq Shihab, head of the now-banned Islamic defender front (FPI ). He faces charges of violating coronavirus protocols after the staging of several mass gatherings since his return from self-exile in Saudi Arabia last year. Monitoring the security situation around the trial as some of those arrested in last week’s terrorism raids had also attended Shihab’s earlier round of trial a few weeks ago. 1,300 security forces have been posted to guard the trial at court.
As head of the hardline Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI), Rizieq has for years cut a controversial figure in Indonesian politics. He was jailed in 2008 for inciting violence and left Indonesia in 2017 after facing charges of pornography, and insulting state ideology. Those charges have since been dropped.
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