26 arrested at early morning protest against fuel price hikes

Detik.com – May 24, 2008
Students protest fuel price hike at State Palace (Merdeka)
Students protest fuel price hike at State Palace (Merdeka)

Indra Subagja, Jakarta – As soon as the price of fuel was officially increased at 12 midnight, 26 people from the People’s Struggle Front (FPR) held a protest action in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta. Police immediately moved in and rounded up the demonstrators and all 26 were taken to the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters.

“We brought them to the regional police [headquarters] for questioning. We will release them tomorrow morning, because they were not anarchic”, said Central Jakarta police chief Senior Commissioner Heru Winarko in Jakarta on Saturday May 24.

Prior to being place in a police truck, the protesters were allowed to convey their demands for around 45 minutes. “We then broke the demonstration up because they did not have a permit and were demonstrating at night”, added Winarko.

In a press release, the FPR said that even though their actions was peaceful police responded excessively by arresting them. They added that prior to the demonstration an FPR member was also arrested at a picket in the Salemba area of Central Jakarta. (aba/aba)

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]