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Firebrand Indonesian cleric Habib Rizieq gets 8-month sentence

Leader of vigilante Islamist groups failed to comply with self-quarantine measures

A police officer stands outside East Jakarta District Court during the sentencing trial of Indonesian Islamic cleric Rizieq Shihab in Jakarta on Thursday.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Firebrand Indonesian cleric Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, better known as Habib Rizieq, was sentenced to eight months in prison on Thursday for violating COVID-19 health protocols for his crowded sermons following his return from Saudi Arabia.

Judges at the East Jakarta District Court also ordered Shihab to pay 20 million rupiah ($1.400) in fines, or spend an extra five months behind bars. The ruling is lighter than two years and 10 months in prison sought by prosecutors for multiple charges related to protocol violations, as they blamed him for contributing to spikes in Jakarta's coronavirus cases in December.

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