Jakarta – Labour Movement with the People (GEBRAK) Alliance spokesperson Nining Elitos says that more than 100 people were detained by police after they tried to join demonstrations opposing the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation in Jakarta on Friday August 14.
GEBRAK held a demonstration in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Jakarta today. Elitos said that protesters who were arrested were youths and students who had arrived by bus and train.
“We don’t know exactly yet, but the information we got was more than 100. The information we got from communicating with the Kapolda [regional police chief] and the Komnas HAM [National Human Rights Commission] was that there are more than 30 people being held at the Metro Jaya Polda [regional police]”, said Elitos in front of the DPR building on Friday evening.
Elitos said she regretted the arrests because they had already sent a written notification to the police explaining that the action would be joined by several different civil society organisations.
“Meaning, this is a legal action [and the police] have already been informed that the groups taking to the streets today will not just be youths. But students, farmers and other sectors, we are asserting our position of rejecting the Draft Omnibus Law”, she said.
Jakarta municipal police chief Senior Commissioner Heru Novianto has confirmed the mass arrests although he said that the incident was dealt with by the Metro Jaya regional police.
Metro Jaya regional police spokesperson Senior Commissioner Yusri Yunus meanwhile said that around 70-80 people were detained saying that they did not belong to any labour or student groups.
“They were people wanting to cause chaos, they brought anarchist flags, stones, bottles, which were confiscated when they wanted to demonstrate, we questioned them, they weren’t from any labour or student groups. They were from a separate group”, he said when contacted on Friday evening.
Yunus said that after being questioned and giving statements the majority of those arrested were allowed to return home. “Around eight people are still being processed over criminal matters such as bringing molotov cocktails, catapults. They’re still being process and questioned”, he said. (yoa/wis)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Buruh Sebut Polisi Amankan 100 Orang Karena Demo Omnibus Law”.]