A man in Parepare, South Sulawesi has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting an elderly man, though he may well argue that it was done in self-defense and upholding the sanctity of a mosque.
According to the local police, on January 29, a 55-year-old man named Made Hasan Paewa was working a construction job at a local mosque when he spotted a 77-year-old man, identified as Arifin, walking over to the women’s ablution tap in the mosque to urinate. Hasan allegedly scolded Arifin and told him to keep the mosque clean.
Priabudi then said the argument between the two turned heated up to the point that Arifin landed the first punch on Hasan. After that, the two allegedly punched each other until others came to break them up.
“It must be known that the victim Arifin is old, 77 years old. He did admit to punching first, but you know what an old man’s punch is like? [Arifin] was punched in retaliation by the suspect resulting in a cut near the victim’s eye, leading to his hospital treatment,” Priabudi said.
Hasan never reported the incident to the police, but Arifin did. The police arrested Hasan about a month after the incident as Hasan was out of town before that time. The police are going to investigate whether or not Hasan deliberately left town to escape police investigation.
Hasan’s son, Muhammad Amin Hasbar, recently wrote an open letter to Parepare Mayor Taufan Pawe asking him for justice for his father. In the letter, which has gone viral on social media, Muhammad asked that his status as a hafiz (someone who has memorized the entire Quran) and his international achievements in Quran recitation serve as a guarantee for his father’s release from prison.
“My achievements are real and you can test me at Quran recitation yourself. Please help me, sir. I can’t stand to see my parent hurting in prison while all he did was uphold the truth,” he wrote in the letter, as picked up by Detik today.
Parepare police haven’t specified what charges Hasan may face, but assault leading to injuries is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison in Indonesia.