Jakarta – The Save Indonesia Coalition (KAMI) has objected to the arrest of eight people affiliated with the movement for allegedly spreading hate speech and violating the Electronic Information and Transactions Law amid widespread protests against the Job Creation Law.
The eight people were apprehended in Jakarta and Medan, North Sumatra.
"We regret and oppose the arrests because they were repressive; they are not in line with the duty of the National Police as society's defender and protector," KAMI presidium board member and former Indonesian Military commander Gen. (ret.) Gatot Nurmantyo said as quoted by kompas.com.
He added that the arrests had a "political" purpose as they had been "hastily" made.
"The [arrests] have framed public opinion, ignored the presumption of innocence and put a tendentious label on a certain organization, as the police have revealed the identities of the detainees."
Arrested in Jakarta were KAMI activists and executives Syahganda Nainggolan, Jumhur Hidayat, Anton Permana and Kingkin. Meanwhile, in Medan, the police arrested KAMI Medan chairman Khairil Amri and members Juliana, Devi and Wahyu Rasari Putri.
National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono claimed they had provided information that instigated hatred and hostility based on tribal affiliations, religion, race and societal groups (SARA) in relation to protests against the contentious Job Creation Law.
The North Sumatra Police also accused KAMI members in Medan of instigating a riot that had broken out in front of the North Sumatra Legislative Council last week following protests against the omnibus law. (trn)