Freeing of Indonesian radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir will have repercussions, warn analysts

Abu Bakar Bashir (centre), the alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, walks as he is visited by Yusril Ihza Mahendra (right), the lawyer for the campaign team of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin, at Gunung Sindur prison in Bog
Abu Bakar Bashir (centre), the alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, walks as he is visited by Yusril Ihza Mahendra (right), the lawyer for the campaign team of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Ma'ruf Amin, at Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, Indonesia, on Jan 18, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA - Indonesian government made a bold statement three years ago when it put five of the most dangerous radical clerics in isolation cells to limit their influence beyond the prison walls.

Their visitation rights were tightened, with only immediate family allowed. Approaching the election, the most senior among these five, 80-year-old Abu Bakar Bashir, has recently received President Joko Widodo's blessings to be released on parole on humanitarian reasons.

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