Indonesia cancels early release for Abu Bakar Bashir, radical cleric linked to Bali bombings

Indonesia cancels early release for Abu Bakar Bashir, radical cleric linked to Bali bombings

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government has cancelled the early release of radical Muslim cleric and terror convict Abu Bakar Bashir as he has not met certain conditions for parole, the state palace announced on Tuesday (Jan 22).

Among the conditions for early release mentioned by presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko were cooperating with law enforcers in investigations related to his crime, showing remorse over his crime and pledging loyalty to the Republic of Indonesia in writing.

"(The cancellation is) because the conditions are non-negotiable," Moeldoko said.

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President Joko Widodo previously announced the release of the jailed spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda-affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah on humanitarian grounds, citing his old age and deteriorating health.

But on Tuesday afternoon, he emphasised the need to adhere to the law.

"There is a system and regulatory mechanism that we have to follow. I cannot be breaking the system, especially in this case where the condition is really basic: Pledge loyalty to the Republic of Indonesia and Pancasila," he said.

Pancasila (the Five Principles) is the official state ideology of Indonesia, which includes belief in God, humanity, unity, democracy and social justice.

However, lawyers representing the 81-year-old Bashir have said that he refuses to fulfill the condition. 

READ: Indonesia reviews early release for Abu Bakar Bashir, the cleric linked to Bali bombings 

Bashir was imprisoned in 2011 on a 15-year sentence for funding a military training camp for terrorists in Aceh.

He is currently detained at the Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java.

He has received treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, blood clots and varicose veins in his leg since 2017, according to the Jakarta Post.

Citing Moeldoko, the report added that the government has been ensuring that Bashir has access to health facilities to treat his ailments.

Source: CNA/Reuters/jt(rw/hs)

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