President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) announced a reversal in his decision to release a cleric tied to 2002 Bali bombings on Tuesday, January 22. Abu Bakar Bashir, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011, will be released after meeting certain conditions, including announcing loyalty to the state and its national ideology. The additional conditions, which were not included initially, followed pressure from international actors, including Australia. Protests against the addition of conditions or against the release are possible in major cities in the coming days.
Abu Bakar Bashir was convicted in 2011 for supporting a jihadi training camp in Aceh, though he was acquitted of charges related to the 2002 Bali bombing. He is seen as the ideological inspiration of Jamaah Islamiyah, who carried out the Bali bombings that killed 202 people. His release from prison was announced on January 18.
Individuals in Indonesia are advised to monitor the situation and avoid any public demonstrations as a precaution.
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