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Terror convict Munarman released from prison

Jakarta Globe - October 30, 2023

BeritaSatu, Jakarta – Munarman, a leading figure of the now-defunct hardline group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), was released from a Jakarta prison on Monday after serving his sentence for a terrorism conviction.

Wearing a Palestinian flag scarf, Munarman voiced his support for Palestine amid the ongoing military campaign by Israel against the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

"We stand with our brothers and sisters in Palestine. What I have endured is nothing compared to their suffering," Munarman said as he was welcomed by colleagues at the Salemba Penitentiary.

The former secretary-general of FPI was found guilty of terrorism by the East Jakarta District Court in April of last year and was sentenced to three years in prison.

An inmate can be eligible for parole after serving at least two-thirds of their prison term, including the pre-trial detention period.

Munarman, 54, had established ties with the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and incited individuals to pledge allegiance to the group's former leader, Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi, according to his verdict.

The panel of judges referred to an article of the anti-terrorism law that imposes jail sentences for "concealing information about terrorism."

Prosecutors, who also alleged that Munarman had connections to suicide bombers who targeted churches in Makassar and the Philippines, had sought an eight-year prison term for him.

Witnesses testified that Munarman, along with two clerics, Basri and Amshori (both deceased), led participants of a religious congregation in South Sulawesi's capital, Makassar, and North Sumatra's capital, Medan, to pledge allegiance to the ISIS leader in 2015.

Munarman has repeatedly claimed that he was targeted by security officials to silence his voice regarding the killing of six FPI members.

His verdict came nearly a year after former FPI leader Rizieq Syihab was sentenced to four years in prison for "spreading false claims about his medical condition and inciting unrest" upon his return from Saudi Arabia during the Covid-19 pandemic.

On December 7, 2020, six FPI members were fatally shot while attempting to divert a police chase from a vehicle convoy carrying Syihab, who was then sought by police for questioning regarding his medical records.

Two officers accused of killing the FPI members were ultimately acquitted by the court.

The government also classified the FPI as a proscribed organization, citing its links to terrorism and violent acts against civilians.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/terror-convict-munarman-released-from-priso