Six dead in Jakarta as protesters oppose Jokowi victory

Reuters and Bernama

Modified 22 May 2019, 8:57 am

Six people have died and 200 have been injured in civil unrest in the Indonesian capital, its governor Anies Baswedan said on Wednesday.

This came following protests after the election commission confirmed President Joko Widodo had won last month's election.

"As per 9am, there were 200 people hurt being brought to five hospitals," the governor told broadcaster TVOne.

"The number of people dead was six," he said, adding that hospitals were conducting post mortems to determine the cause of death.

However, Indonesian National Police PR division head M Iqbal, in a statement, did not confirm the matter. Instead, he said police were still investigating the allegations.

“Demonstrations held at several places since late last night until early this morning were not impromptu mass demonstrations but were carried out by a group of about 200 people in a planned manner to disrupt public order,” he said.

The protests took place around Jakarta between 11pm yesterday and 5am this morning, with protesters reportedly throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at security forces who asked them to disperse.

Widodo, better known as Jokowi, is seen as the face of Indonesia's liberal, secular political tradition and is opposed by hard-line Islamists.

Jokowi won more than 85 million votes of a total of 154 million cast in the world's third-largest democracy, but defeated candidate Prabowo Subianto has cried foul and alleged cheating. 

About 1,000 of his supporters were believed to have gathered in Jakarta to protest the victory.

Iqbal said the police had to use tear gas to disperse the protesters and denied using live ammunition, as alleged on social media.

“The rioters were not from Jakarta, but from outside Jakarta, from West Java, and there was an ambulance detained by the police carrying a logo of a political party (unnamed), full of rocks, and police had to act by using tear gas, there were protesters who sustained injuries but no data yet,” he said.

He said 14 vehicles were torched by rioters early this morning, and police have arrested nearly 100 people thus far.

As of noon, the situation in Jakarta is still under control with over 50,000 police and military personnel controlling strategic places in Jakarta.

No Malaysians hurt

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry in a statement confirmed that no Malaysians were hurt and advised citizens to avoid the areas where the mass gatherings are taking place in the Indonesian capital.

It named these areas as Tanah Abang, Thamrin, Sabang and Menteng.

The Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta, in a statement, urged Malaysians to adhere to any instruction from the local authorities, from time to time.

For Malaysians who require consular assistance are encouraged to email:  [email protected] /[email protected] or call +62215224947 / + 6281380813036 (after office hours).

- Reuters/Bernama

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