Denpasar – Police arrested and later released five activists from the Community Resistance Movement (Komunitas Gerak Lawan) to prevent them from holding a protest action against the annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Bali.
The arrests were made on Thursday October 11 at around 10.30am to preempt a rally that was to be held at the Sindu traffic light intersection in Sanur, South Denpasar.
The five activists arrested by police were: Afgan Fadilah, Aliza yuliana, Jati Tua Ericson Sitohang, Fikerman Leodireco Saragih and Danar Yuditya Pratama.
Based on information gathered by Radar Bali, the activists said they were members of the Free Bali Group (Kelompok Bali Mardika) which is based at the Jati Jagad offices located on Jl. Cok Agung Tresna in front of the TVRI Denpasar building.
After police obtained information about the planned action they conducted a raid on the offices. “Initially there were around 25 people at the Jati Jagad, Jalan Cok Agung Tresna, Denpasar. After the raid by police, five people were arrested, meanwhile several others escaped”, said a source.
The five were then taken to the South Denpasar sectoral police headquarters (Mapolsek) for questioning.
During the raid police found pamphlets and other materials which were to be used at the protest such as masks, banners and head-bands. Police also confiscated materials written in several languages including Indonesian, English, French, Spanish and German.
When sought for confirmation, South Denpasar sectoral police (polsek) chief Police Commander Nyoman Wirajaya confirmed the arrests. “That’s right, currently they are still being interrogated”, he said briefly.
Wirajaya explained that police arrested the activists after they received a report from local resident that they were planning a demonstration.
“They were arrested then we took them to polsek. Because local people were angry”, said Wirajaya, adding that they had planned to hold a rally against the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meeting.
After being questioned, the activists were allowed to return home although the materials seized during the raid remained at the police headquarters.
“They’re not allowed to hold such activities. There are laws which regulate this. They can’t just do as they please. They didn’t have a permit, there was no notification submitted to security personnel that they were to use the beach”, said Wirajaya. (rb/pra/dre/mar/mus/JPR)
According to a Jakarta Post article on October 13, police denied making any arrests saying that the activists “provoked” the public by distributing materials against the IMF-World Bank meeting on Sanur Beach. After local people chased most of them away, police decided to take the remaining activists to police headquarters.
[Abridged translation by James Balowski complied from three articles by Radar Bali on October 11. The original title of the lead article was Polisi Tangkap Lima Aktivis Komunitas Gerak Lawan.]