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Police, election supervisor partner to investigate hate banners

Jakarta Post - February 28, 2017

Jakarta The Jakarta Police are set to work with the Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwaslu) to investigate the installing of banners addressing ethnic, religious, racial and societal group (SARA) sentiments.

The banners installed on several mosques across Jakarta are emblazoned with messages, which call on all Muslims not to perform a funeral prayer for a deceased Muslim found to have supported Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. Funeral prayer is a collective obligation for Muslims.

"We will coordinate with Panwaslu to see whether or not the banners are related with the Jakarta gubernatorial election. The police are investigating this," Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Prabowo Argo Yuwono said as quoted by wartakota-tribunnews.com in Jakarta on Monday.

He believed Jakarta residents were smart enough and not easily influenced by SARA sentiments, including the ones written on the banners. When he was asked whether it could be categorized as libel, Prabowo said investigators were still looking into the case.

Prabowo said the installing of the banners, which could ignite SARA sentiments about a certain candidate pair, violated the 2016 Regional Elections (Pilkada) Law. "We need to investigate this thoroughly. If it proves to violate the Pilkada Law, there are mechanisms and rules we can use to process the case," he said.

As reported earlier, a Jakarta deputy gubernatorial candidate recently performed a Friday prayer at Al Waqfiyah, a mosque on Jl. Salemba Bluntas, Central Jakarta. The mosque had allegedly said its congregation would not perform funeral prayers for Ahok-Djarot supporters. The mosque has denied the allegation. (kkk/ebf)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/28/police-election-supervisor-partner-to-investigate-hate-banners.html.

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