Scores arrested in Bandung during rally against controversial Criminal Code

CNN Indonesia – December 15, 2022
Demonstrators from West Java Student Alliance protest at governor's office – April 11, 2022 (Antara)

Jakarta – The Bandung Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) has revealed that scores of demonstrators protesting against the recently enacted Criminal Code (KUHP) in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung were arrested by police on Thursday afternoon, December 15.

"Post the anti-KUHP demonstrations which took place on Thursday December 15, 2022 in Bandung City, scores of demonstrators were arbitrarily arrested this afternoon", wrote the LBH Bandung in a post on its official Instagram account.

LBH Bandung said that the location where the arrested protesters are being held is still unknown and the cell phones (HP) belonging to several of the demonstrators were also allegedly confiscated. "Their HPs were also confiscated", the group said.

Meanwhile, West Java regional police public relations chief Senior Commissioner Ibrahim Tompo claimed that he has yet to receive any information about the arrests. "There hasn't been any information yet", he told CNN Indonesia.

Students in several parts of the country have held protest actions opposing the KUHP. The actions were held because they consider that a number of articles in the KUHP are problematic and that the government has not listened to input from civil society.

Students from the Greater Jakarta area (Jabodetabek) held an action in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Jakarta in which they symbolically remembered the death of five people in demonstrations against the draft KUHP in 2019.

The protesters displayed five framed photographs of the victims and lit candles followed by the singing of the song "Mengheningkan Cipta" (Moment of Silence). The students also scattered flowers in front of the photographs.

They said that the victims were heroes and pledged to continue the struggle of those killed by rejecting the problematic articles in the KUHP that was enacted by the DPR on December 6.

"Here we will not stop fighting to oppose the problematic KUHP", said one of the students in a speech.

The names of the three people killed during the 2019 protests in Jakarta are Maulana Suryadi (23), Akbar Alamsyah (19) and Bagus Putra Mahendra (15).

The other two were Haluoleo University students that were killed in Kendari, South-East Sulawesi, namely Immawan Randi (21) and Muhammad Yusuf Kardawi (19).

In addition to the five killed, more than 200 demonstrators suffered injuries during the 2019 protests. (yla/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "LBH: Puluhan Demonstran Tolak KUHP di Bandung Ditangkap".]