Jakarta – The Indonesian Police on Tuesday told supporters of terror convict Abu Bakar Baasyir not to crowd his home or public places when the elderly cleric returns to his hometown in Central Java later this week.
Baasyir is set to be released from jail on Friday when he completes his 15 years' imprisonment for multiple counts of terrorism.
The Central Java Police tweeted that they "urge the public to refrain from picking up Abu Bakar Baasyir" amid concerns about surging coronavirus cases.
"Any crowd gathering will be dispersed and taken to legal proceedings. Public safety is the highest law," the tweet says.
Abdul Rahim, a son of Baasyir, said earlier there will be no special ceremony to welcome his father.
"We don't want to cause a big crowd that will only harm other people," he told Antara news agency.
He said several members of the family and their lawyer will pick Baasyir up at the Gunung Sindur Penitentiary in Bogor, West Java, to take him home to Sukoharjo, Central Java, on Friday.
The Justice Ministry's Correctional Directorate has announced that Baasyir will complete his term on Friday after receiving multiple sentence cuts totaling 55 months.
Baasyir, 82, was convicted of terrorism in connections to paramilitary training by a group of militants in Aceh with alleged links to al Qaeda and sentenced to 15 years in jail by the South Jakarta District Court in June 2011.
Prior to his current conviction, he had also served a jail term for indirect role in the 2002 Bali bombings.
The Indonesian Police believe that Baasyir was the spiritual leader of shadowy terror group Jemaah Islamiyah blamed for the Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people of mostly Australian holiday-goers.
At least one of the convicted Bali bombers has admitted that Baasyir gave his blessing to the twin bombings on Jalan Legian.
He was sentenced to two and a half years for the Bali attacks in March 2005 and released from prison in June 2006 thanks to various sentence cuts.