A week ago, a website called “baladarizieq” mysteriously appeared online featuring a collection of supposedly leaked information (including audio recordings, chat logs and photographs) purporting to detail an adulterous affair between the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Rizieq Shihab, and women named Firza Hussein. The leader of the hardline group dismissed the information as slanderous lies and FPI promised to report whoever was behind it to the police.
But then, just a few days after Rizieq was officially named a suspect for insulting the state ideology of Pancasila and Sukarno, the Jakarta Police announced that they were launching an official investigation into the leaked information after a group called the “Anti-Pornography Student Alliance” filed a criminal report against the people behind the information for creating and spreading pornography.
That gave law enforcement the legal justification to investigate the truth behind the sex scandal rumors, which included calling in a forensic anthropometry expert to determine if the woman in the leaked nude photos was actually Firza (no photos of Rizieq were included in the leak).
According to the results of their expert, police say there is no doubt that it is Firza in the photos.
“A photographic forensic expert was called in. So there is medical science, there are measurements of the body that can not be denied. What is in the picture is definitely a match,” Jakarta Police Chief Mochamad Iriawan said yesterday after a meeting with religious leaders in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta yesterday as quoted by Detik.
Firza and her lawyer have also denied the authenticity of the leaked information and claimed the photos had been edited.
However, Iriawan said that the science behind the forensic analysis of the photos was undeniable. He also noted that police found a television and table in Firza’s parent’s house matching those in the photos as further proof of their authenticity.
Police searched Firza’s parent’s home last week, not as part of their investigation into the leaked info but due to her arrest on treason charges (she was also one of the 11 people arrested on December 2 for her involvement in an alleged treason plot). She is currently in detention and her lawyer is requesting she been freed as she is suffering from health problems.
Iriawan said the investigation into the authenticity of the other leaked information was still ongoing, and that they would have an audio expert try to determine if it was, in fact, Firza’s voice in a recording of a conversation about her affair with Rizieq. They have also promised to call Rizieq in for questioning about the case.
We’re not as happy about this as you might think. We hate to see any instance of the government criminalizing the private sex lives of consenting adults, using the pornography law as a pretext for what is essentially an act of moral policing. It’s exactly what happened in the case of Nazril “Ariel” Irham’s infamous sex tape scandal in 2010 as well.
“Remember ya !!! Even though it’s a private collection between FPI’s Rizieq and Firza Hussein, that which is called ADULTERY is still ADULTERY. Do not be a hypocrite!!!”
But then again, we can’t help but recall the vicious protests by FPI members during Ariel’s trial. Just look at this quote from an Antara article covering them:
“The reports on Ariel`s porn videos have brought Indonesia to world-wide shame,” Muhammad Anshori, vice chairman of the Bandung chapter of the Islam Defenders` Front (FPI), said when addressing the crowd.
He said Ariel had committed adultery because he was shown having sex with women (Luna Maya and Cut Tari) who were not his legal wives.
“Therefore, Ariel must be punished by stoning as required by Islamic law,” he said, adding the authenticity of the videos had been established by an information technology expert.
Will we see any calls from FPI for Rizieq to be stoned should his involvement in the adulterous affair be proven? Hmm, somehow we doubt it…