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Student rally against Jobs Law in Lampung broken up by police, 48 arrested

Liputan6 - March 31, 2023

Nanda Perdana Putra, Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) has received a report that police violently broke up an action by hundreds of student protesters opposing the Job Creation Law (Cipta Kerja) in front of the Lampung Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in South Sumatra.

They are urging the national police chief to take firm action against the Lampung regional police chief and his officers and are calling on the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to investigate the incident.

YLBHI and Bandar Lampung Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Sumaindra Jarwadi explained the chronology of the incident, saying that at around 10 am protesters from the Lampung Calling Alliance (Aliansi Lampung Memanggil) took to the streets demanding that the Jobs Law be revoked.

"[The action] began with a gathering at the Adipura Monument, after that the protesters held a convoy towards the location of the action at the DPRD building", said Jarwadi during his explanation on Thursday March 30.

Upon arriving at the location of the action at around 11.25 am, continued Jarwadi, each of the groups in the alliance gave political speeches while several field coordinators negotiated with police to be allowed to enter the grounds of the Lampung DPRD.

Shortly after 12 noon the demonstrators took a break then continued the demonstration at around 1 pm.

"The protesters again began to give political speeches and negotiated for the protesters to be able to enter the DPRD building grounds, then the negotiating team announced that no agreement had been reached between the negotiating team from the Lampung Calling Alliance and the police, meanwhile the protesters continued taking turns to give political speeches", he explained.

According to Jarwadi, at around 3.30 pm police forced the protesters back using water cannon and teargas, which resulted in chaos. At the same time, many of the protesters were arrested at random and violently.

"There were around 48 protesters made up of students that were arrested and taken into the Bandar Lampung Polres [district police]. The Bandar Lampung LBH is still attempting to take an inventory of the protesters who were injured", he said.

Human rights violations condemned

The YLBHI has condemned the actions as a human rights violation against freedom of expression and opinion that is guaranteed under Indonesian law and the constitution. The Bandar Lampung LBH has opened a complaints post related to the violence by police in dealing with the protest action.

The YLBHI is calling on the national police chief to take firm action against the Lampung regional police chief and the police officers who committed violence against the student demonstrators.

It is also calling on the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to immediately conduct an investigation into alleged human rights violations committed by the Lampung police chief and his officers.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Polisi Bubar Paksa Demo Mahasiswa Tolak UU Cipta Kerja di Lampung, YLBHI Desak Kapolri Tindak Tegas".]

Source: https://www.liputan6.com/news/read/5248111/polisi-bubar-paksa-demo-mahasiswa-tolak-uu-cipta-kerja-di-lampung-ylbhi-desak-kapolri-tindak-tega