Extreme caution in Jakarta for planned demonstrations

The political problems in Indonesia at the moment are coming to a head, leaving the possibility of mass violence in Jakarta over the next week or two.

The protesters are planning to block roads but the police are saying they will remove people who try to do so.
Various unions are also planning to rally, demanding Ahok be arrested.
Add police warnings of a coup attempt and the army on standby and there is a serious risk of major violence. … ks-arrest/ … s-protest/ … -protests/

Hey Fred,

I found this little opinion editorial piece yesterday and thought it was spot on.

You might well think it's too political for this forum, but at least you'll have a chance to read it before you take it down...and I surely will understand your decision to take it down. 

So at the centre of the blasphemy controversy is the verse Syurah Al Maidah 51 "You believers, do not take Jews or Christians as your allies". The governor cited it in a speech telling his audience not to be deceived by its usage, implying that it is often used by politicians and religious leaders to reject non-muslim leadership. Indeed hardline protests including racially charged ones against him are nothing new as he is both a Christian and Chinese, an ethnic long suffered from persecution and political scapegoating. However his governorship has proven very popular. He has amassed extraordinary public approval for cleaning up the city from slums and bureaucracy from corruption. Of course such deed also earned him some powerful enemies. And they were all waiting for him to make an opening which his speech unfortunately provided. What happened next was a subtitled video circulated with him now insinuating that people shouldn't be deceived by the verse. For muslims this simply looks like he's saying that the Quran is deceiving, hence the rage.

And that's where Indonesia finds itself at a very dangerous crossroads. Clearing the governor will trigger Days of Rage : regular protests shutting down the city which almost definitely leads to racial and sectarian riots. Indicting him on the other hand will justify such egregious method to subjugate minorities and silence free speech, a good long step into the country becoming the next Pakistan.

Think its time to head to the Winchester

Roy's comments were an assessment of a political situation, not political comments. (In my opinion)
This Friday (or next) isn't like last time because the political (and/or religious) groups are intending to do things they know have been banned by the authorities.
Clearing the streets they say they will block is likely to billed as stopping Muslims praying, and the reported intent to move on and occupy the presidential palace is, according to the same reports, to be viewed by the  police as a coup attempt, thus treason and they're likely to open fire.

Still, it's all guesswork at this point so nothing is set in stone.
Caution is in order in case any of this is accurate.

I will now download dead things and watch it. … throw-Govt

According to Tito, the planned mass rallies on November 25 and December 2 would not be held solely to seek prosecution of inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama in a blasphemy case. There’s a hidden agenda by certain groups to overthrow Joko Widodo’s administration, he said. He added that protesters would break into and ‘take over’ the DPR building.

What's that about brown stuff and a fan? … ks-arrest/

Jakarta. The Confederation of Indonesian Workers' Unions, or KSPI, announced on Monday (21/11) that a million workers will go on strike across the country on Dec. 2 to demand higher wages and the arrest of inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama. … ment-case/

Jakarta. Buni Yani, a Facebook user who allegedly edited a videotaped speech by Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama with malicious intent, has been interrogated by police in investigation of harassment over social media.

Buni was reported by an organization calling itself the Community of Young Advocates for Ahok-Djarot, or Kotak Adja. He was accused of publishing a social media post which could trigger hate and prejudice among the public, as stipulated in Article 28 of the Electronic Transaction Information Law.

Buni, a lecturer at a private university in Jakarta, attended the summon with his lawyer Aldwin Rahardian at Jakarta Police's special crime unit at around 10.20 a.m. on Wednesday (23/11).

“We have prepared specially for this questioning. Our evidence shows Buni Yani should not be named suspect in the case and the case itself is not decent to continue,” Aldwin told reporters.

The video — in which Basuki said no one should manipulate verses from the Koran for political gain — was reportedly edited by Buni to show the governor discrediting a verse from the holy book during a meeting with residents at Pramuka Island, off the north coast of Jakarta.

Things are moving on. … buni-yani/ … pre-trial/

The bones of the two stories are:
Police are looking at prosecuting the guy they say uploaded an edited video with incorrect subtitling and comments
The guy had demanded a pretrial hearing with a view to getting the charges dropped.

In unrelated news … be-police/

Jakarta. The alleged terrorist arrested in West Java this week learned from the internet how to make bombs, which he planned to provide to other terror networks in the country, police said on Friday (25/11).

Police reportedly seized a range of explosive materials when they arrested the 24-year-old suspect at his home in Majalengka district on Wednesday. Officers allege that he had been practicing to assemble bombs by consulting information he found on Google and in YouTube videos.

Unrelated to the case mentioned above, but it's possible some extremist groups might very well use the general points of the Ahok case as excuse to kill people, maybe even at the upcoming rally. … n-to-Court

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Attorney General Office (AGO) will take an immediate decision on whether the alleged case of blasphemy against Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) can be taken to court based upon the documents it received from the police on Friday.

"We have 13 prosecutors ready to study the dossiers, of which 10 have come from the AGO, two from the provincial prosecutors office and one from the district prosecutors office," the Deputy Attorney General for General Crimes, Noor Rachmad, said.

He stated that they would study these to decide if the case meets the requirements for being brought to the court, based upon the Criminal Code.

He added that the AGO has two weeks to study the dossiers in this case.

One awaits the outcome with more than a little interest. If the case does not go ahead I see serious trouble ahead, but the law should be followed properly, regardless of any threats from anyone.
I haven't heard the unedited speech so I can't give an opinion either way, but I do know facts won't matter to some.

Amigo!  You're doing a GREAT job keeping us all updated on this situation...and many thanks.  Sitting here in Ubud, you can imagine that it's often easy to just sit back and say, "who cares...that's Jakarta."  But, as you are very well aware, matters such as this are of great importance to us all.

Thanks again and keeping my fingers crossed! 


We're getting a bit close to Friday and that's likely to be the bang or fizz of this job.
I noticed stories about a couple of terrorist arrests, one with bomb making gear, and it was linked to Friday's thing in Jakarta.
It's no secret some groups have foul intent, wanting to take over the country for their own reasons, so the the question is how far will they go?
One still hopes for a peaceful outcome, but some aren't interested in peace.
Interestingly, Ahok is still doing well in the opinion polls.
I'm still interested in the charges and their validity. I understand the real unedited speech simply said if you believe the verse extends to political leaders as well as religious leaders, you shouldn't vote for him.
If that's true, there is no fault as he hasn't insulted Islam, nor has he used religious texts in any way other that to tell people to use their own feelings when voting.
I'm unsure of the actual words used and the way the  passage in question is intended in religious text, so I must consult others before I can make serious comment.

I can't see a big demo as some fear. The police and many politic leaders and Muslim leaders have all said not to.
The issue is beyond Ahok now and so thas the reason people are worried. Interestingly no one I know is that concerned about Friday which seems to the be the Indonesian way. Buses are banned from carrying demonstrators to Jakarta. Praying on the streets on Friday is also banned and the police are also monitoring ports and airports and turning people back.

I suspect common sense will finally prevail. No demo this week. Ahok will face charges for blasphemy but will serve no prison time and the Jakarta Post will cease to be.

Regardless of the outcome for Ahok this is a political protest now aimed at removing a non Islamic governor who is too good and honest wrapped up in religious overtones because fear is a mighty weapon, yet education is the antidote and that seems to be prescribed and working.

Had this happened in a non election year or aby a Muslim leader it wouldn't have even rippled the water.

lukereg :

I suspect common sense will finally prevail. No demo this week. Ahok will face charges for blasphemy but will serve no prison time and the Jakarta Post will cease to be.

The post has come out all political since the last presidential election, but do you think their stance on this issue will kill them off, and why and how will they meet their end?

Lukereg, when will Jakarta Post close down their newspaper service? It's stunning news. Lucky I am reading this thread today otherwise I would never know it was going to close down. Thank you for the great breaking news information.

Sarcasm how wonderfully delightful and welcome.

But alas, my comments about the JP are the stuff of dreams. My view of the Indonesian papers especially online versions is that they cater for people not living in Indonesia and therefore focus on the larger ones only.

The paper version is better.

If they stick to this plan it will much reduce the chances of serious trouble. … d-in-Monas

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian said that the Police and the National Movement to Protect the MUI Fatwa (GNPF MUI) have conveyed several agreements on the Third Act to Defend Islam rally which will be held on December 2, 2016.

“After a long discussion, [we've] reached an agreement [to hold the rally] in Istiqlal Mosque and the National Monument’s (monas) field,” he said on Monday, November 28,2016.

They have serious trouble prevention machines at the Monas and lots of them so I am sure they will be have. Its after dark it always goes wrong!

I was supposed to go into Jakarta on Friday afternoon but I'm going to skip it.

I don't blame you. I am working and hopefully like last time the traffic will be light to non existent but I am not sure. There is less numbers in the press so I think that it will more normal this time but we will see.

It would however be worth coming over the weekend as it will be a little quieter if there are demonstrations especially Saturday morning.

lukereg :

Ahok will face charges for blasphemy but will serve no prison time and the Jakarta Post will cease to be.

I just wanted to get confirmation on the things that you said. Are they true or your predictions or just made up?

The Jakarta Post is here to stay, that was me being sarcastic but for Ahok  that is my belief.

Thank you for your honestly.

The timing of the story is more interesting than the story.
Assuming the Globe has this right, tomorrow's demo is pointless. … -ago-says/

Jakarta. The Attorney General's Office, or AGO, announced on Wednesday (30/11) it has approved the case dossier on a blasphemy investigation against Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and will ready the case for trial as soon as possible.

AGO Junior Attorney for General Crimes Noor Rachmad said the case files, locally known as P21, are complete and meet all the requirements to be used in a court trial.

According to the files, Ahok is charged with articles 156 on harassment and 156a on blasphemy in the Indonesian Criminal Code. Ahok could face up to five years in prison for harassment and four years for blasphemy if convicted. … fii-Maarif

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Top cleric Ahmad Syafii Maarif, founder of Maarif Institute, said that inactive Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama should be sent to 400 years in jail.

“If the court can prove the elements of crime in the act committed by Basuki Tjahaja Purnama alias Ahok on September 27, I suggest he should be given 400 years over alleged blasphemy against the Koran, Muslims’ holy book, for the satisfaction of those making the allegations,” Maarif wrote in an article on Koran Tempo Friday’s edition, December 2, 2016.

Big names … nts-Arrest

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Aldwin Rachardian, defense lawyer of Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, has confirmed the arrests of several activists over coup plans. At present, he said, the activists had been under interrogation at Police Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters (Mako Brimob) in Depok.

“Some have been questioned inside [Mako Brimob],” Aldwin told Tempo in a phone interview on Friday, December 2, 2016.

Aldwin said he was still accompanying several activists taken to Mako Brimob. He said that musician Ahmad Dhani and activist Ratna Sarumpaet had undergone questioning at that point.

Aldwin declined to reveal the identity of other individuals currently under interrogation. In addition, Rachmawati was still inside the Mako Brimob. “[She] is still being questioned. I will tell you more about it later,” he said.

I rode across the city today and its like a Saturday morning level traffic. The toll is far quieter than normal as well. My wife has been given the afternoon off so she is in a coffee shop and quite happy about that.
Its raining.

The mosques this morning were all yelling out to anyone that they should go to the Monas today.

I saw no a fair few police waving at cars today which was nice, I always wave back. The riot control machines were safely tucked out of view at the parliament buildings but there were no demonstrators at all.

So a nice peaceful day all round, so far.  But I am sure once they start to go home there will be the need for fight or some shouting and the like.... although I do hope not

Looks like we dodged the bullet on this one, probably down to good policing tactics. Restricting them to Monas kept them out the way for the most part and the excellent police tactics reduced the opportunities for trouble.
There's still some chance for this evening but it looks like the worst is over.
Some seem to be having a few more problems. … ng-Treason

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said that the National Police has named ten activists arrested on Friday Morning, December 2, 2016, as suspects over alleged treason.

Nothing is proven in court at this point, but they have very serious issues to contend with at the moment.

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