Hundreds of members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, gathered in front of the Bogor Police headquarters on Saturday (14/01) to demand the immediate release of 12 sympathizers who were arrested for their alleged involvement in an attack on the offices of the Indonesian Underground Society Movement, or GMBI, in Ciampea near Bogor, West Java, early on Friday morning.
“Our presence here is lawful as the FPI’s legal team requests the release of the 12 suspects, who have been accused of committing arson,” said Ichwan Tuankota, a member of the FPI’s legal team.
He denied that the suspects had been involved in the attack.
“We don’t believe that they should be suspects, but we respect the law. We demand their release, as five of them are minors,” he said.
Ichwan added that the suspects were not members of the FPI, but only sympathizers who acted spontaneously in response to a reported assault on an FPI member in Bandung, West Java.
“Our goal here is to provide legal assistance from the FPI to the sympathizers who have been arrested, because we care and we are willing to help them,” he said.
Members of the group disbanded after meeting with police representatives.
Bogor Police earlier hosted a mediation session between the FPI and the GMBI, which resulted in several agreements, including a joint statement deploring the incident, and an undertaking to avoid any future disputes.