LBH staff released after arrest at Myanmar anti-junta rally, 7 others still detained

CNN Indonesia – April 24, 2021
Rally against Myanmar military chief General Min Aung Hlaing attendance at ASEAN conference in Jakarta – April 24, 2021 (Reuters)

Jakarta – Police have released two Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) assistant public defenders – Andrie Yunus and Ridwan Herdika – who were arrested earlier in Jakarta along with other demonstrators opposing military violence in Myanmar.

LBH Jakarta assistant public defender Gifar has confirmed the releases adding that LBH Jakarta had earlier conveyed their objections to the arrests with police.

"Yes [they've been released], after we conveyed our objections earlier, there was a police interrogation report, we reject this", said Gifar when contacted on Saturday April 24.

Gifar said that at least nine people were arrested following the protest action. Two from LBH Jakarta, three from the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) and four from the Urban Poor Network (JRMK).

Nevertheless, according to Gifar there are seven more who are still being questioned at the South Jakarta municipal police headquarters. "There seven more still being questioned inside", he said.

According to Gifar, the grounds for their arrest were because police considered the demonstration to be disturbing the sterilisation of the area near the ASEAN Ministerial Level Conference (KTT) that was being held at the ASEAN secretariat building.

"The action was deemed as disturbing the sterilisation of the ASEAN meeting venue", said Gifar.

Gifar said he regretted the police's actions in arresting the demonstrators. According to Gifar the LBH and PBHI were providing legal assistance to the protesters in conveying their demands over the current situation in Myanmar.

"The position of these colleagues was as assistant public defenders who received a mandate from the JRMK to assist them in the solidarity action for the Myanmar poor who are currently being repressed there", he said.

Earlier, Yunus and Herdika were arrested when they were providing legal assistance to the demonstration organised by the JRMK, the Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) and the Revolutionary Youth Front (FMR) Jakarta leadership committee.

The three organisations are part of the Leaders and Organizers of Community Organizations in Asia (LOCOA) who held a demonstration in front of the ASEAN secretariat building earlier this afternoon.

The group condemned and opposed the acts of violence by the military junta in Myanmar. The action was held to coincide with Saturday's ASEAN Ministerial Level Conference in Jakarta. (dmi/ryn/arh)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Sempat Ditangkap di Demo Junta Myanmar, 2 Staf LBH Dilepas".]