Firza Husein, woman accused of adulterous sex scandal with FPI leader Rizieq, officially named suspect in pornography case

Left: Islamic Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab Right: Firza Husein
Left: Islamic Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab Right: Firza Husein

The leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Rizieq Shihab, has fled to Saudi Arabia to avoid a police summons for questioning over a pornography case related to very public and very embarrassing sex scandal accusations that were leaked onto the internet. Rizieq has claimed that he is hiding in Saudi Arabia as a “symbolic” act of opposition to legal injustice, and has even said he would ask the United Nations for protection (insert eye roll emoji here).

Meanwhile, the woman he has been accused of having the adulterous affair with, Firza Husein, was questioned by police over the case most of yesterday and was, in the end, officially named a suspect in violating Indonesia’s anti-pornography laws.

“Based on the inquiry conducted by investigators up to 10:00 pm, we have named FH (Firza Husein) as a suspect,” Jakarta Police Public Relations Head Argo Yuwono said last night as quoted by Kompas. He added that police had sufficient evidence, including reports and expert witnesses, to justify naming Firza a suspect.

If you’re confused as to how the rumors of an adulterous affair between Rizieq and Firza have turned into an official police investigation over criminal pornography, here’s a quick history of the case.

Baladacintarizieq

Back in late January, a website titled “Baladacintarizieq” (Rizieq’s tale of love) appeared online featuring what was alleged to be leaked information, including Whatsapp chat logs, an audio recording and nude photos of Firza, detailing an adulterous affair between her and the FPI leader.

Firza was known to be a follower of Rizieq’s who often appeared near him in public. She was also one of the people questioned over an alleged treason attempt against the government late last year due to her close relationships with other suspects, including pop star-turned-politician Ahmad Dhani and former army general Kivlan Zein.

Both Rizieq and Firza fiercely denied the accusations and said all of the leaked information was completely fabricated, with their lawyers threatening to report whoever spread the information online with slander.

However, Rizieq and Firza were soon placed on the defensive after a criminal report was filed by a group called the Anti-Pornography Student Alliance, which reported three websites (including “’Baladacintarizieq”, which is believed to be the original spreader of the leaks) for hosting the highly explicit information in violation of Indonesia’s Pornography Law and Information and Electronic Transaction Law (UU ITE), which criminalizes the production and spread of pornography for public consumption.

This report gave police the legal justification needed to investigate the authenticity of the sex scandal rumors. In addition to attempting to summon Rizieq and Firza numerous times for questioning, they also brought in expert witnesses to examine the leaked information. Police said that multiple forensic experts had testified that there was undeniable evidence linking Firza to the women in the photos. Police also said they had confiscated one of Rizieq’s phones and found evidence of ‘intense’ conversations between him and Firza. There was also audio of a conversation between Firza and a woman named Emma supposedly discussing the affair with Rizieq, and police say Emma admitted the conversation was true after questioning

Moral policing

While police may have found strong evidence that Firza was the person in the leaked information, they have not revealed any information to suggest that she was involved in the distribution of the information, which is what the law actually prohibits (the creation of pornographic materials for personal, private use is allowed under Indonesian law). Indeed, Firza’s lawyer has protested the police naming her a suspect when they have not seemed to have found any evidence of who put the material online (oh, and she still says all of the leaked data is fake, despite mounting evidence to the contrary).

But then, they may not need any proof that Firza or Rizieq intended for their private information to be leaked to be found guilty of violating the law. In the infamous sex scandal case of Ariel “Peter Pan”, the musician was found guilty of creating and spreading pornographic materials after sex tapes of him with several Indonesian celebrities were leaked online, despite prosecutors never presenting evidence that Ariel had intended for the tapes to be released publicly (something he would very obviously be totally against).

At that time, members of the FPI protested at Ariel’s trial, saying he should be stoned for adultery in accordance with sharia law, specifically arguing that the materials being for his private use was no excuse.

https://twitter.com/joxzin_jogja/status/827410211082170368/

Will we see similar protests from FPI now if it is proven that their leader was the one engaging in adulterous activities? We’re guessing… no.

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