Indonesia president urges police restraint after student protesters' deaths

27 September 2019 - 36   - 0

Indonesian president Joko Widodo on Friday called for police restraint and promised an investigation into the deaths of two students, killed while taking part in protests that have spread to become the country’s biggest in decades.

The protests, against new laws, began on Monday and have turned violent in several places with more than 300 hurt in Jakarta alone, prompting calls from Amnesty International for an investigation into what it called “massive” aggression by police, who have fired tear gas and used water cannon.

Demonstrators’ anger is focused on a revised law that activists say will hobble Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency, and plans to outlaw extramarital sex and penalize insulting the president’s honor.

The two dead university students, both men, were part of a rally on Thursday in Kendari on the island of Sulawesi. One died the same day and the other on Friday. Police gave the cause of one of the deaths as bullet wounds.

Another student was critically ill with head injuries after a protest in Jakarta on Tuesday, officials and the university said on Wednesday.

More rallies took place in the capital on Friday, but on a smaller scale than on previous days and no clashes were reported. Police chief Tito Karnavian said at least 200 people had been arrested since the protests began.

Widodo said on Thursday said he was considering revoking the new anti-corruption law.

On Friday he said he had ordered an investigation into the two deaths, telling reporters in Jakarta: “I told the national police chief that his personnel should not act repressively.”

Karnavian has said officers were barred from using firearms or sharp weapons to contain the protests.

National Police spokesman M. Iqbal said an investigation into the students’ deaths, including autopsies, was under way, and that if it concluded they had been shot, strict action would be taken against the perpetrators, even if they were found to be police.

Widodo is due to be sworn in for a second term on Oct. 20 after winning a national election.

Chief Security Minister Wiranto has said the student protests were hijacked by a group aiming to disrupt parliament and Widodo’s inauguration next month.

The president also said on Thursday he planned to meet with students’ representatives, though on Friday State Secretary Pratikno said no schedule has been set yet for a meeting.


  Comments - 0

  • Leave a comment

Top Stories

Prime Minister's Secretary before Presidential Commission tomorrow

Prime Minister's Secretary Saman Ekanayake has been asked to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing state sector c...

21 October 2019 - Views : 53

Gotabhaya blames current government for neglecting national security

21 October 2019

Chilaw PS member arrested after attempting to stab wife

21 October 2019

Dissanayake vows to transform Trinco oil farm into international storage facility

21 October 2019

Features & Analysis

Special screening programme for breast cancer at Early Detection Centre in Narahenpita

October is designated as ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’, worldwide. Cancer ranks amongst the leading thr...

The Wolf is back! ‘Big Bad Wolf Book Sale’ to get underway from tomorrow

The wolf is here with books for us to devour! The highly anticipated ‘Big Bad Wolf Sale’ which is open to...

Toyota's latest Rav4, Corolla and HIACE hit the streets

Toyota Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the sole authorized dealer for Toyota vehicles and spare parts in Sri Lanka recently launched...

English Lit Societies of Ladies and STC present LitCon

The English Literary Societies of Ladies' College and S.Thomas' College Mt.Lavinia proudly present LitCon ...