Do not believe hoaxes on cause of Maaher’s death: Police


Jakarta Indonesian Police’s (Polri’s) Public Information Bureau Head, Brigadier General Rusdi Hartono, emphasized that negative news circulating on social media on the cause of renowned Muslim preacher Soni Eranata alias Ustadz Maaher At-Thuwailibi’s death was untrue.

“In connection with his death, the police have explained that he died of illness,” Hartono clarified here on Wednesday.

“The public must not easily believe irresponsible news,” he affirmed while referring to the hoaxes on the cause of Maaher’s death in the jail of the Police’s Crime Investigation Department (Bareskrim) on February 8, 2021.

Hartono further reminded the public to not disseminate hoaxes or forward these fake news to others on social media. “Do not spread fake news, as it is a criminal act,” he emphasized.

Polri’s Public Information Bureau head detailed that Maaher had been unwell and taken to the Police’s Hospital in East Jakarta. The hospital had later discharged him after he recovered. Maaher was later again sent to the Bareskrim jail for a 20-day detention from Feb 4 to Feb 23, 2021.

Maaher had fallen ill again though refused the suggestion to send him back to the hospital until he breathed his last in the jail.

“An offer (was made to send him back to the Police Hospital), but he did not want to. He wanted to remain in Bareskrim’s jail,” Hartono stated.

Maaher had been under detention since December 4, 2020, after being named a suspect in a hate speech case after uploading a picture of Habib Lutfi bin Yahya, on his Twitter @ustadzmaaher_ social media account.

Lutfi bin Yahya is a prominent ulema, a member of the Indonesian President’s Advisory Council (Wantimpres), and a patron of Banser, a militia wing of Ansor, which is Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama’s (NU’s) young adult wing.

At that time, Maaher was debating with a member of Banser on their Twitter accounts. Maaher was mocked for wearing a head scarf to cover his head. Maaher later responded by uploading Lutfi’s photo wearing a similar head cover and wrote: ‘Iya tambah cantik pake Jilbab.. Kayak Kyai nya Banser ini ya..’ (Yes, it’s prettier to wear Hijab.. like this Kyai (very prominent ulama) of Banser, right.”

Banser’s member reported Maaher to the Police and Bareskrim that later arrested him.

Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono, Polri’s spokesman, notified the press on Dec 3, 2020, that Maaher was detained in a hate speech case in accordance with the law on information technology and electronic transaction (ITE).

After consulting with language and ITE experts, the police concluded that two words — “prettier” and “hijab” — by Maaher had humiliated the prominent ulema.

“(The two words are) the clues, the key words. ‘Pretty’ and ‘hijab’ are for women, while this Kyai is a man,” Setiyono pointed out.


Source: Antara News

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