The radical Islamic leader Jafar Umar Thalib (JUT) has been sentenced to five months imprisonment. The judge at the Makassar District court laso sentenced six of his followers to six months imprisonment. Jafar Umar Thalib and his men were charged with article 170 (1) regarding vandalism after they broke the property of a Papuan man in February 2019 – allegedly because he played Christian worship songs aloud in his front yard. After the verdict on 17.07.2019, JUT had to serve eleven more days before he was finally released.
Papuan civil society groups have protested against the presence of JUT in West Papua. The founder of the militant group ‘Laskar Jihad’ moved to the Kerom regency, where he has built an Islamic boarding school named Pesantren Ihyaul Sunnah. Papuan religious leaders fear that JUT could create tensions between Mulsim and Christian communities and jeopardize the religious tolerance in West Papua.