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Police say group that raised banned HTI flag in Poso actually FPI supporters

Detik News - October 27, 2018

Audrey Santoso, Jakarta – A group of people who were part of a Defend the Tauhid [Oneness of God] action at the Poso regency House of Representatives (DPRD) in Central Sulawesi have taken down the red-and-white national flag and replaced it with a black flag bearing the kalimat tauhid (the Islamic creed).

Police say that it was the flag of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a fundamentalist Islamic organisation that was banned by the government last year. Police also said that the group that raised the flag were supports of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

"The protesters were FPI supporters but the flag that they brought was an HTI flag", said public information bureau chief (karo penmas) Brigadier General Didi Prasetyo from the national police public relations division by an SMS message on Saturday October 27.

The flag raising incident took place on the afternoon of Friday October 26. In responding to a question about the party which raised the black flag, Prasetyo gave the same answer. "FPI protesters who supported the HTI by bringing the flag", he said.

As has been reported, the Home Affairs Ministry has stated that it is forbidden to fly the flag of a banned organisation. This prohibition not only applies to government agency offices, but public places as well.

"So the flags that are not allowed [to be flown] at state institutions and public places, are the flags of banned organisations, such as the PKI [Indonesian Communist Party], the HTI, the GAM [Free Aceh Movement] and the OPM [Free Papua Movement]. All of these flags are prohibited by law. It's the police's duty to enforce this", said Regional Autonomy Director General Sumarsono when contacted on Saturday.

An even firmer statement was conveyed by national police Criminal Investigation Bureau Chief (Kabareskrim) Commissioner General Arief Sulistyanto who said that taking down the red-and-white flag and replacing it with the black flag is an insult to the state symbol. This action also tarnishes the struggle the heroes of Indonesia's independence struggle against the Dutch.

Sulistyanto said that such actions are proscribed by Article 24 in conjunction with Article 65 in conjunction with Article 66 of Law Number 24/2009 on the Flag, Language, State Symbols and National Anthem. The perpetrators could face a five-year jail sentence.

"Identify the people who raised the flag and those responsible for the action. This clearly violates Law Number 24/2009 Article 24 in conjunction with Article 65 in conjunction with Article 66", Sulistyanto was quoted as saying in a written statement received by Detik.com on Saturday.

Sulistyanto also called on the Central Sulawesi regional police to immediate investigate the incident so it will not happen again. "In order to make out an LP (police report) modal A, do this immediately. This must be done so that it isn't copied", said Sulistyanto. (jbr/fdn)


Large protests have taken place in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia following a flag-burning incident on October 22 during the National Santri (Islamic students) Day celebrations in Garut, West Java, when an unidentified individual raised a black flag bearing the tauhid or tawhid – the core of the Islamic faith which expresses the belief in Allah as the one and only God.

Several men, alleged to be members of the Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser) youth wing of Indonesia's largest Islamic mass-organisation, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), took down the flag and burned it, apparently because they thought it was the flag of the banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). A video of the flag burning went viral and drew outrage from many Muslims, who deemed it an insult to Islam.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Polisi: Pengibar Bendera HTI di Poso Pendukung FPI.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4276139/polisi-pengibar-bendera-hti-di-poso-pendukung-fpi.

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