Jamal A. Nashr, Purworejo – As many as 64 residents of Wadas Village, Bener District, Purworejo, were arrested by the police on Tuesday, Feb. 8, during the land measurement for the mining plan related to the Bener Dam construction project. Ten of them are minors.
The police also apprehended a legal assistant from the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute or LBH Yogyakarta. "64 people have been arrested, 10 of them are minors," said Julian Dwi Prasetya, a public lawyer from the LBH Yogyakarta on Wednesday, Feb. 9.
He said the arrested villagers are still at the Purworejo Resort Police Post. "We are trying to release them," Julian added.
According to him, if the police do not find criminal elements within 24 hours after the arrest, the villagers must be released.
Julian also said the legal assistance for the dozens of residents was hampered as they were prevented from entering the Purworejo Police Post. "The access to legal aid is difficult. They said it is because of COVID-19," he added.
Julian said he could not enter the police post since last night, hoping that within 24 hours, the police would immediately release the villagers, especially those who are still underage.
On Tuesday, the National Land Agency measured the land for the mining plan related to the Bener Dam project. The police claimed there was a clash between Wadas villagers who were opposed and supported the project.
"The officers thus arrested residents who carried sharp weapons and machetes," said the Central Java Regional Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Iqbal Alqudusy.