Jakarta – The National Association of University Student Executive Bodies (BEM-SI) plans to stage a rally in front of the State Palace on Thursday following a decision by the Jakarta Police to restrict protests ahead of the presidential inauguration on Sunday.
BEM-SI coordinator Abdul Basit said he estimated that 1,000 students would take part in the protest on Thursday. "It is confirmed, today at 1 p.m.," he said as quoted by kompas.com.
He said the group would gather in the National Monument area in Central Jakarta. Abdul, who is also head of the Jakarta State University (UNJ) BEM, said around 100 UNJ students would also be present.
Previously, a poster invited all BEMs in Greater Jakarta and Banten to stage a rally to demand that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to revoke the controversial newly revised Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law, which will take effect on Thursday after being passed by the House of Representatives a month ago.
Earlier this week, the Jakarta Police decided not to issue protest permits from Tuesday until the inauguration of Jokowi and Ma'ruf Amin on Sunday.
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. M. Iqbal said police would allow the protest as long as it remained peaceful. "They can stage the protest as long as the students conduct it in an orderly fashion," he said on Thursday as reported by tempo.co.
Iqbal said police would disperse protesters if the rally turned violent. He also urged the students to follow regulations and instructions from security personnel on the field. (gis)