Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Idham Azis says the police have arrested five people on assault and battery charges following a violent mob riot at the office of the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) on Sunday night.
“We will process the case according to the law. They are charged with Article 170 [of the Criminal Code on battery and assault],” he told reporters Monday morning after the police had dispersed the mob.
Idham explained that at around 11 p.m., the mob attempted to enter the office, which they falsely claimed was holding a discussion on the 1965 communist purge attended by members of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
The YLBHI held a discussion on the 1965 mass killings on Saturday. The discussion was disbanded by the police. But on Sunday, activists, artists and survivors of the 1965 purge organized an event to protest the police’s action.
“Our appeal [to the mob on Sunday night] was ignored and they started to throw rocks at 1:30 p.m.,” Idham said, adding that five officers were wounded during the riot. At 2 p.m., the police forced the mob to disperse.
Idham said he had deployed around 1,000 officers to control the situation. It is estimated that around 2,000 people from different organizations took part in the protest. (dis/ecn/rdi/ary)