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Jakarta Post

Mob insisted on attacking YLBHI: Police

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 19, 2017   /   09:45 am
Mob insisted on attacking YLBHI: Police Hundreds of people stage a protest in front of the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute building in Central Jakarta late on Sunday. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

Those who attacked the office of the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) in Central Jakarta in the wee hours of Monday morning believed the event inside the building was associated with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), even though the police and military representatives explained that it was only an art performance.

“We don’t care whether they are conducting an art performance. We oppose the PKI,” said one of the protesters who spoke with Central Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Suyudi Ario.

The clash between the police and the mob broke out at 1:22 a.m.

The mob threw rocks and bottles, injuring five police personnel. To secure the situation, the police deployed a water cannon and shot tear gas into the crowd.

Jakarta Legal Aid Institute director Alghiffari Aqsa told journalists that the mob besieged the office after the art event.

(Read also: Anti-communists besiege, attack office of YLBHI)

Here is a chronology of the evacuation of the people inside the YLBHI building on Monday morning:

1:38 a.m.: Police officers push the protesters away from the YLBHI office, making way for the evacuation of the people inside the building. A woman who fainted is carried away by about six persons from inside the building.

1:43 a.m.: The second phase of the evacuation begins, with about 20 people leaving the building.

2:17 a.m.: The final part of the evacuation.

2:42 a.m.: Almost half of the people get into three police trucks, which take them to the offices of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Central Jakarta.

3:12 a.m.: The trucks have to turn around because the protesters block Jl. Proklamasi. About ten minutes later, three police trucks and a bus are finally able to get away from the scene through Jl. Diponegoro.

Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) coordinator Yati Andriyani, who was present for the evacuation, told The Jakarta Post that the mob followed them and “visited the Komnas HAM office right after we arrived. About seven to 10 motorbikes with passengers stopped on the road in front of the office. They shouted things and attempted to provoke us,” Yati said.

Separately, Usman Hamid from Amnesty International said that at first, the police suggested that the people be evacuated to the headquarters of the Jakarta Police in South Jakarta.

However, eventually they were taken to Komnas HAM based on a request from the commission chairman, Nur Kholis. (rdi/ecn)