Acting Jakarta Governor Soni Sumarsono, center, flanked by Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. M. Iriawan, right, and Jakarta Military Command chief Maj. Gen. Teddy Lhaksmana, left, during a meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday (07/02) to discuss security arrangements before and during next week's gubernatorial election. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta Police Give Reasons for Barring '112' Protest Rally


FEBRUARY 08, 2017

Jakarta. Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Mochamad Iriawan cited security concerns and the requirement for a so-called quiet period before next week's gubernatorial election as reasons for not allowing a planned street rally by Muslim groups in the city on Saturday (11/02).

"If the '112' protest has a political agenda, it cannot be allowed [to proceed]. We will act firmly. So please comply with the regulations issued by the KPU [General Elections Commission] related to the elections," Iriawan said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He said the planned locations for the rally, such as the National Monument (Monas), Jalan M.H. Thamrin and the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, will be off bounds because the rights of other citizens will be affected.

"Since the rally is planned to take place on the main streets of Jakarta, it will shut down access and automatically disturb the public order," Iriawan said. "We will ban such activity."

The police previously said there was a political agenda behind the planned mass action and that the public was aware of the true purpose of the rally, despite the organizers presenting it as a religious activity.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Military Command chief Maj. Gen. Teddy Lhaksmana said he will support any security measures that need to be implemented ahead of the gubernatorial election on Feb. 15.

"In observing the development of the current situation, as conveyed by the Jakarta Police chief, the Jakarta branch of the military will be the first to support the police in securing the regional elections, which should be safe, peaceful and successful," Teddy told the media.