Lia Eden: Jakarta court begins trying religious sect leader

Jakartar (ANTARA News) – The Central Jakarta Court on Wedenesday began hearing the case against Syamsuriati or Lia Eden, leader of the “Holy Throne of the Kingdom of Eden” community who is accused of disturbing public order by spreading a self-styled religion.

The hearing, conducted by a panel of judges led by Lief Sufijullah with Ridwan Mansyur and Heru Pramono as members, mainly o listened to the prosecution`s indictment.

Lia was accompanied by 50 lawyers, among others from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH), the Freedom of Religion Defence Team (TPKB) and the Indonesian Legal Counsel Institute (YLBHI).

She was charged with having violated Article 156 of the Penal Code (KUHP) for which she could be sentenced to a maximum of five years imprisonment.

More specifically, Lia Eden who was publicly known as a television presenter in the late 1970s and a handicraft expert, was accused of disturbing public order by misusing or disgracing a certain religion in Indonesia.

Among the offences she was considered to have committed was having declared herself as being the archangel Gabriel who had been assigned to propagate new teachings among people. At another time she professed to be Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, and claimed that her son, Ahmad Mukti, was Jesus Christ.

The community had its headquarters at Lia`s house on Jalan Mahono St. No.30, Central Jakarta.

Lia and her 47 followers were arrested by Jakarta Police on December 28 last year after her neighbours complained about their activity. She was later moved to a women`s detention center in Pondok Bambu, East Jakarta.

In 1977, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) declared her teachings spread in written form as a deviation from Islam.

Wednesday`s court session was also attended by tens of Lia`s followers clad in white gowns.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Antara, Indonesia
Apr. 19, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday April 19, 2006.
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