Arya Dipa, Bambang Muryanto and Aman Rochman, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Malang – Clashes between protesters and the police continued for a third day on Friday, as cities throughout the country saw public outrage at the passage of the Job Creation Law and observers raised concerns about the treatment of detainees.
In Bandung, West Java, the police detained at least 200 people during clashes on Wednesday, many of whom were later discharged. But about 20 people were still struggling to get legal assistance on Friday.
"We have not been given access for legal assistance. They were detained because of possession of sharp weapons and Molotov cocktails," Bandung Legal Aid Institute (LBH Bandung) director Lasma Natalia said on Friday.
After Thursday's protests, at least 89 more were detained at the Central Bandung Police station, while at least 100 others were detained at the Bandung Police headquarters, Lasma said.
In Yogyakarta, the police arrested 95 people during chaotic demonstrations against the jobs law in front of the Yogyakarta Legislative Council building on Thursday.
Four people were charged under the Criminal Code for allegedly destroying the police post at the end of the famous shopping street, Jl. Malioboro. Those who were not charged were released on Friday afternoon.
LBH Yogyakarta director Yogi Zul Fadhli criticized the police for not allowing families and lawyers to visit the demonstrators after they were arrested, saying it violated human rights.
In Malang, East Java, the police arrested at least 129 people during violent protests that took place around Tugu Malang square on Thursday, which led to at least eight vehicles being damaged.
Malang Police chief Sr. Comr. Leonardus Simarmata said some of the protesters had come from areas outside of Malang, including Jombang, Banyuwangi and Pasuruan.
Eighteen police officers received medical treatment at Saiful Anwar Hospital in Malang for mild injuries.
In Makassar and Palopo, South Sulawesi, the police detained 250 people, 72 of whom were minors, in clashes from Thursday to Friday morning.
A number of government and police facilities were damaged. Five police officers and a civil servant were reportedly injured.
South Sulawesi Police public relations head Sr. Comr. Ibrahim Tompo said on Friday that the police were investigating the incidents and had not yet named any suspects.
In Jambi, protests against the passage of the law continued on Friday. About 100 students clashed with authorities in the courtyard of the Jambi Legislative Council building at noon.
"We urge all members of the council to sign a petition against the omnibus law," shouted one protestor.
On Thursday, Jambi Legislative Council chairman Edi Purwanto signed such a petition, witnessed by about 30 members of a student alliance.
Jambi Police chief Insp. Gen. Firman Shantyabudi said the police had apprehended four people and were investigating their potential roles in the chaos that damaged the council building.
In Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, a number of student associations under the Cipayung Plus group protested in front of the East Nusa Tenggara Legislative Council building on Friday.
The protest, which started peacefully with a march and joint prayers involving both protesters and authorities on the street, ended in chaos after protesters began a discussion with East Nusa Tenggara Legislative Council speaker Emilia Nomleni and deputy speaker Inche Sayuna.
After two minutes of discussion, water bottles and stones flew from the back of the crowd toward the police. Emilia and Inche were escorted away by the police.
The students were later disbanded after clashes with police officers. None of the students were reported injured.
East Nusa Tenggara Police chief Insp. Gen. Lotharia Latif, who was at the scene of the protests, called on everyone to cooperate and keep the peace. (syk)
– Andi Hajramurni from Makassar, Jon Afrizal from Jambi and Djemi Amnifu from Kupang contributed to this story.