Friski Riana, Jakarta – The head of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) legal aid, Sugito Atmo Prawiro, has blamed the Indonesian government for the current immigration hassle on the organization's leader, Rizieq Shihab. He asserted that the hefty fine the FPI leader is facing was not his fault.
"I always emphasize this, Habib Rizieq's overstay is not his fault," Sugito told Tempo today.
Sugito said that Rizieq had attempted to depart three times from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia, prior to July 20, 2018 – the deadline for Rizieq's stay permit – to finish his study in Malaysia. However, he was unable to do so as his departure was blocked.
"How can someone be barred before their visa's stay permit ended?" said Sugito.
Sugito claimed this situation was attributable to one of Indonesia's "powerful institutions." He also strongly suggested that the government should pay the fine for Rizieq Shihab's overstay that has amounted to Rp110 million.
He said that FPI followers would raise funds to help pay the fine should the government balked at paying it off.