Controversial cleric Maaher At-Thuwailibi dies in police custody

Cleric Soni Eranata, who is more popularly known as Ustadz Maaher At-Thuwailibi, died yesterday evening at the National Police HQ’s detention center on Monday, Feb. 8. Photo: Twitter/@ustadzmaaher
Cleric Soni Eranata, who is more popularly known as Ustadz Maaher At-Thuwailibi, died yesterday evening at the National Police HQ’s detention center on Monday, Feb. 8. Photo: Twitter/@ustadzmaaher

Cleric Soni Eranata, who is more popularly known as Ustadz Maaher At-Thuwailibi, died yesterday evening at the National Police HQ’s detention center. He was 28.

Maaher’s attorney, Djudju Purwantoro, said that Maaher passed away at around 7pm. He was arrested by the police in early December for hate speech under Indonesia’s controversial Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) after mocking one of the country’s most influential clerics, Habib Luthfi bin Yahya, on Twitter.

Djudju said that Maaher died of an unspecified illness, explaining that his client only returned from the hospital a week ago after receiving medical treatment. Maaher reportedly suffered from gastric issues in mid-January.

The police have not disclosed Maaher’s cause of death either, but they have come under criticism for not suspending his detainment considering his health problems.

The cleric, who was a close associate of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab, was known for his pugnacious preaching style and occasional tendency to use vulgar language. Maaher became a controversial figure recently by publicly calling celebrity Nikita Mirzani a lonte (slut) after she mocked Rizieq on social media.

Also Read Police guard celebrity Nikita Mirzani’s home after she name-called Rizieq Shihab on social media

Nikita, for her part, seems to have put aside her past conflict with Maaher and expressed her condolences in an Instagram post.

Innalillahi wa innailaihi rojiun [We surely belong to God, and to Him we shall return]. Hopefully Ustadz Maaher finds peace in his grave, all his sins repented and his good deeds will be accepted [by God]. My condolences,” Nikita wrote.

Subscribe to the WTF is Up in Southeast Asia + Hong Kong podcast to get our take on the top trending news and pop culture from the region every Thursday!



Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


BECOME A COCO+ MEMBER

Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

MOST POPULAR