Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The National Police have arrested eight people affiliated with Save Indonesia Coalition (KAMI) for allegedly spreading hate speech and violating the Electronic Information and Transactions Law amid protests against the Job Creation Law.
They were nabbed in two separate arrests in two cities, Jakarta and Medan, North Sumatra.
"The eight people were arrested because they provided information that instigated hatred and hostility based on SARA [tribal affiliations, religion, race and societal groups]," National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono said on Tuesday as reported by kompas.com.
Awi did not provide further details on the arrests, saying only that they concerned the opposition to the new jobs law.
"Their provocation, which was related to the jobs law, resulted in violence," he said, adding that the questioning process was still underway.
He explained that the arrests were made by a cybercrime team under the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department.
In Jakarta, the police arrested KAMI activists and executives Syahganda Nainggolan, Jumhur Hidayat, Anton Permana and Kingkin. In Medan, the group's Medan chairman, Khairil Amri, was arrested, along with members Juliana, Devi and Wahyu Rasari Putri.
North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Martuani Sormin said the police suspected the KAMI members in Medan were involved in a riot that broke out in front of the North Sumatra Legislative Council last week.
Khairil allegedly provided supplies for protesters in the Medan demonstration.
The case was being handled by the National Police headquarters in Jakarta, he said.
Large protests over the newly passed Job Creation Law previously took place on Thursday in Medan. Protestors reportedly damaged regional council buildings, public facilities and police vehicles.
The police apprehended 253 people after the protests, naming 27 of them suspects. An additional 468 people were arrested in protests that turned violent on the following day.
North Sumatra KAMI's executive secretary Harun Al Rasyid denounced the claim that the organization supported violence during the protests.
"That is not true. KAMI never tolerates violence. The arrest of Khairil Amri has nothing to do with KAMI as an organization. It was his personal trait as an activist," he told The Jakarta Post on Monday. (trn)