Indonesia hands down prison sentences to IS supporters

Jakarta, Feb 9 (IANS) An Indonesian court on Tuesday began handing down sentences for seven men accused of supporting the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

Tuah Febriansyah, who was presented before the court Tuesday afternoon, was found guilty of sharing propaganda videos from the extremist group online and sentenced to five years in prison, EFE news reported.

Another defendant, Aprimul Hendry, was handed a three-year jail term for facilitating the travel of Indonesians to Syria, while Ahmad Junaedi also received three-year imprisonment for conspiracy and joining military training camps in Syria.

Helmi Muhammad Almudi was sentenced to three-and-half years in jail for training at a military camp in Syria for two weeks.

The verdicts for other accused persons were due to be handed down later in the day, officials said.

The hearings coincided with the release of a Human Rights Watch (HRW) statement calling on the Indonesian parliament to reject proposed amendments to its counter-terrorism law that are “unnecessarily broad and vague and would unjustifiably restrict freedom of expression”.

Indonesia’s parliament may consider the proposed amendments as early as this month. These include stripping Indonesian citizens, suspected of travelling abroad to fight for the IS, of their citizenship as well as criminalising any insult to the country.

HRW said some of the proposed amendments “clearly contradict Indonesia’s international human rights obligations and would lead to violations of fundamental rights.”

The proposed changes come in response to a January 14 bomb attack in downtown Jakarta, which left dead seven people, including five attackers. The attack was claimed by the IS.

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