GNPF, a hardline Islamic organization, planned two mass demonstrations last year – dubbed the "411" and "212" rallies – both of which were staged to demand the arrest of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama in light of the ongoing blasphemy case against him. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Police Warn Against Mass Demonstration in Jakarta on Friday

BY : BAYU MARHAENJATI

APRIL 28, 2017

Jakarta. Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. M. Iriawan has called on members of the Guardians of the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwas, or GNPF-MUI, to refrain from staging a mass demonstration in the capital on Friday (28/04) in the wake of the city's recent gubernatorial election.

"What else would they want to demonstrate against? It is enough for now," Iriawan said in Depok, West Java, on Thursday.

GNPF, a hardline Islamic organization, planned two mass demonstrations last year  dubbed the "411" and "212" rallies  both of which were staged to demand the arrest of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in light of the ongoing blasphemy case against him.

The organization also initiated another protest against Ahok in March, known as the "313" rally.

However, police are gearing up yet again for another mass demonstration after they received reports of a planned rally to be staged in front of the former Central Jakarta Court building on Friday.

Demonstrators plan to march from thebIstiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta to the court building, though police have warned protesters to forego their plan.

"I have told them not to conduct this march. I think it is enough already. City residents are exhausted, they don't want to witness these rallies anymore," Iriawan said.

He said that Jakarta Police will not allow any more street rallies initiated by GNPF as the governor’s legal battle is nearing its conclusion, with a verdict set to be handed down on May 9.

"If they rally [on the streets], we will not allow it. What is the use? [The blasphemy case against] Ahok has followed lawful procedures. We should put faith in our judicial system," Iriawan added.

Under the 1998 Law on Freedom of Expression in Public Spaces, groups planning a public demonstration must notify police to arrange proper security measures.

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