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Firebrand Indonesian cleric gets 4 years for COVID test lies

Hundreds protest ruling against Habib Rizieq, adding to Jakarta virus surge fears

People gather during a protest in Jakarta on Thursday supporting Rizieq Shihab, an Indonesian Islamic cleric who was sentenced for breaching coronavirus curbs after his return last year from self-imposed exile.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- A firebrand Indonesian cleric was sentenced to four years in prison on Thursday for lying about his COVID-19 test result.

Hundreds of supporters of Muhammad Rizieq Shihab protested outside the East Jakarta District Court, where judges ruled that he was guilty of violating a clause in Indonesia's 1946 criminal law that stipulates spreading lies purposefully to create public chaos.

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