JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian Police has arrested eight members of KAMI or the Save Indonesia Coalition, a movement claiming to save Indonesian democracy, for their complicity in protests against the government’s controversial new Omnibus Jobs Creation Law.
Indonesian Police spokesman Brigadier General Awi Setiyono said investigators from the Criminal Investigations Directorate’s (Bareskrim) Cybercrimes unit detained the men in Jakarta and Medan, North Sumatra, during a series of sweeps October 9-12.
“The KAMI members are suspected of using hate speech based on ethnic, religious and racial grounds [SARA] to incite violence [during the protests] in violation of the Electronic Information and Transaction Laws,” Awi said in a briefing in Jakarta on October 13.
“If found guilty, they face up to five or six years in jail and a Rp. 1 billion [$67,661.29] fine.”
Awi noted that the men included KAMI North Sumatra head Khairi Amri and Jakarta-based Anton Permana and Jumhur Hidayat, as well as Syahbanda Nainggolan, who was nabbed in Depok, West Java, one of Jakarta’s satellite cities.
“The detainees are currently being questioned. We will determine whether to proceed with their case and name them as suspects [behind the unrest],” Awi said.
The arrests were made as the protests continued in Jakarta. Protesters clashed with security personnel again at the Arjuna Wiwaha statue near the National Monument (Monas) in the town center.
Eyewitnesses said a group of minors threw bottles and rocks at riot police, following peaceful protests by the PA 212 political pressure group. They added that the rioters tried to storm a police barricade before the police dispersed them.
The police arrested hundreds of people, many of them minors, during the protest. The unrest continued in nearby locales like the Thamrin thoroughfare and the Hotel Indonesia roundabout well into the night despite police orders for demonstrators to disperse by dusk.
(Writers: Devina Halim, Wahyu Adityo Prodjo | Editors: Diamanty Meiliana, Icha Rastika, Sabrina Asril)