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Hard-line Islamic group denies receiving money to defend 'infidel' business tycoon Hary Tanoe
Tempo - July 14, 2017
The group said it is fitting to defend Hary Tanoe, as the PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) Group boss in known, because he has become a victim the regime of President Joko Widodo.
Alumni Presidium 212 chairperson Ansufri Idrus Sambo said that Hary Tanoe is a victim of the regime that is in power. The march, said Sambo, is a solidarity action to defend human rights.
"[We have] come to Komnas HAM because there was someone who made a complaint. [Our] colleagues proposed that [we] don't just defend Muslim people, because the one being mistreated is from a different religious faith", said Sambo on Friday July 14.
Sambo believes that there are political motivations behind the case against business tycoon Hary Tanoe who has been declared a suspect by the national police criminal investigation bureau because he allegedly threatened sub-directorate investigator Deputy Attorney General for Special Crimes Yulianto. "We are making a complaint [with Komnas HAM] because Hary Tanoe is being criminalised".
According to Sambo, the Presidium Alumni 212's defense of Hary Tanoe has no relationship with politics. The defense of the MNC boss represents part of religious outreach on other days.
The other reason is because of the assistance provided by the MNC in the form of [positive] reporting on the 212 Defend Islam actions against former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in December last year. "We are defending a person who is being mistreated", said Sambo.
Sambo denies that the Presidium Alumni 212 is defending Hary Tanoe because it has received money. Sambo also insists that he has never met Hary Tanoe or had any direct relationship with him.
"I don't know [him and] have never met [him], [I've] never contacted [him], never exchanged SMS messages, never exchanged WhatsApp messages".
Along with vigilante groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the Alumni 212 was one of the groups involved in the "Defend Islam" protests organised by the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) against former governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in Jakarta in December demanding that he be jailed on trumped up blasphemy charges. One of the stated reasons for opposing Ahok's reelection was that Muslims cannot be led by non-Muslims (infidels). Billionaire Hary Tanoe, who is Donald Trump's business partner in Indonesia and like Ahok is also a Christian of Chinese decent, openly supported the election ticket of Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno who went on to win the election. Tanoe, who is close to former Special Forces (Kopassus) General Prabowo Subianto, is also widely believed to have been one of the key financial backers behind the anti-Ahok rallies.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Bela Hary Tanoe, Presidium Alumni 212 Bantah Dapat Uang.]
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