Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has approved the unconditional release of Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba`asyir from Gunung Sindur Prison in Bogor, West Java Province, for humanitarian reasons, a senior lawyer stated.
“Mr Jokowi (incumbent president) has agreed to set him free for the sake of humanity by considering his age and illness,” Yusril Ihza Mahendra, the lawyer of the Widodo-Ma`ruf Amin pair, remarked here on Saturday, Jan 19.
President Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, was quoted by Mahendra as saying that he did not have the heart to see this 81-year-old ulema remain imprisoned for that long.
s approval for Baasyir`s unconditional release was announced by Mahendra, also general chairman of the Muslim-based Crescent and Star Party, on Saturday, or two days after the convening of the first round of presidential debate.
The first round of official debates of the two pairs of Indonesian presidential and vice presidential candidates was held on Thursday, Jan 17, with law, human rights, corruption, and terrorism-related issues featuring on the debate`s agenda.
Born in Jombang, East Java Province, on August 17, 1938, Ba
asyir is known as the former leader of the Indonesian Mujahidin Council and one of the founders of the Al Mumin Islamic Boarding School in Ngruki, Sukoharjo, Central Java Province.
asyir, who will have been released from the prison next week, was awarded a 15-year prison term by the South Jakarta District Courts panel of judges in 2011 for funding a military training camp for terrorists in Aceh. (ANT)