Police to ban use of Jakarta’s main roads for Dec. 2 rally
Callistasia Anggun Wijaya
The Jakarta Post
The National Police is set to make an announcement that prohibits participants of a planned rally organized by the National Movement to Save the Indonesian Ulema Council’s Edicts (GNPF-MUI) for Dec. 2 to use Jakarta’s thoroughfares to ensure public order, an official has said.
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian says carrying out a demonstration is the constitutional right of every Indonesian citizen, however, it should be conducted in a way that does not disrupt public order.
“If protesters block roads in carrying out their rally, it will disturb people’s activities. It will also cause traffic gridlock,” Tito said at National Police headquarters, on Monday.
He was responding to GNPF-MUI spokesman Habib Rizieq’s statement, which said the Dec. 2 protesters would carry out Friday prayers across the capital's two main roads, namely Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman.
Tito said if demonstrators insisted on holding their rally on those roads, the police would disperse them and act firmly to anyone who opposed the police. Violent protesters would be charged with articles 212 to 218 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on attacks against public officials.
Tito said he would also instruct police chiefs across the country to prohibit residents from their respective areas to come to Jakarta to join the rally.
The GNPF-MUI stated earlier that it would hold a peaceful rally on Dec. 2 to call for the arrest of non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who had been named a suspect in a blasphemy case on Nov. 16.
Tito said the police were working on completing Ahok’s case dossier as quickly as possible so that he could face trial. (ebf)
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