Final Hard-Liner Released From Jail After Attack on Christians

The Jakarta Globe

The last person jailed in relation to the brutal attack on members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church of Pondok Timur Indah in Bekasi late last year was released from prison on Friday.

Shalih Mangara Sitompul, a lawyer representing Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) member Aji Ahmad Faisal, 28, confirmed his client had been freed.

He had been convicted of stabbing religious leader Asia Sihombing during an attack in which Rev. Luspida Simandjuntak was beaten with a bamboo stick.

Aji, reportedly a struggling street singer and poet, was greeted by a number of supporters after he was released from prison.

“Aji is now back to the place where he comes from,” Shalih said. “Perhaps he will go back to be a street artist as he used to be.”

Human rights groups have accused the state of failing to uphold the law after a Bekasi court gave light sentences to the 13 Muslim hard-liners linked to the attack in September last year.

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