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NGO files slander complaint against Indonesian Moslem leader

Agence France Presse - February 1, 1997

Jakarta – The leader of a non-governmental organization filed a complaint with the police against an influential Moslem leader for having accused the group of inciting a mass riot in West Java, reports said here Saturday.

Andrianto, leader of the Humanika Foundation, filed the complaint with the Jakarta police Friday against Abdurrahman Wahid, the Jakarta Post daily said.

Andrianto claimed that Wahid, head of the mass Moslem organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) which numbers 30 million followers, has tarnished the foundation's good name by publicly accusing its activists of masterminding a December riot in Tasikmalaya, West Java.

Four people died during the riot which also saw score of churches, police, government and commercial buildings destroyed, many by fire as thousands of Moslems went of a rampage, angered by alleged police mistreatment of three teachers of Islamic schools.

Jakarta police chief detective Colonel Paimin Aboeamr said Friday that the police would study the Humanika claim and possibly summon the conflicting parties for further information.

Wahid has said here this week that he has evidence to support his accusations against Humanika activists and was ready to be challenged in court.

Tasikmalaya is one of NU's strongholds and one NU member was among the main suspects in the riot, officials have said. Wahid has said that the Tasikamalaya riot was part of efforts to tarnish his image and that of the NU, a strong grassroots Islamic movement. The Islamic leader is also known to be a frequent government critic. lis/lk