Indonesia imprisons seven Islamic State supporters

Suspected militants Aprimul Henry (left) and Ahmad Junaedi (right) are escorted by police officers as they arrive for their sentencing hearing at West Jakarta District Court in Jakarta, Indonesia (09 February 2016) Image copyright AP
Image caption Critics say those sentenced on Tuesday did not receive harsh enough sentences

A court in Indonesia has sentenced seven men to between three and five years in jail for supporting the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.

It is the first time an Indonesian court has passed jail sentences for recruiting and helping people travel to Syria to fight alongside IS.

Last month, IS carried out a series of explosions and gun attacks in Jakarta.

The sentencing judge on Tuesday said that supporting IS should be considered an act of terrorism.

Jakarta-based security expert Sidney Jones told the BBC the verdicts were a step forward but the sentences were too lenient. She said Indonesian anti-terrorism laws are not strong enough.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The sentences are the first passed by an Indonesian court for recruiting and helping people travel to fight in Syria alongside IS
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in Jakarta last month

There were calls in the wake of last month's attack for the country's anti-terrorism laws to be strengthened.

However, members of parliament are concerned about giving too much power to security forces that have a poor human rights record, the BBC's Rebecca Henschke reports from Jakarta.

Four of the group sentenced on Tuesday had travelled to Syria to undertake military training with IS.

The other three had helped purchase tickets and recruited people to join the jihadists.

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