Indonesian students hold rallies to protest law changes

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Thousands of Indonesia’s university students in various regions have once again taken to the streets to protest the revisions of several laws including the one on Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Criminal Code (KUHP). In Jakarta, students from various universities, including from outside the capital city, staged protests in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) Building Tuesday, demanding that legislators cancel the passage of the controversial bills as they were regressive to democracy.

The students, among others, came from the University of Indonesia (UI), the State University of Jakarta (UNJ), Trisakti University, Veteran State University (UPN), the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), Padjajaran University, and the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

In the afternoon, thousands of police officers guarding the Parliament Building tried to pressure the students to leave the Parliament compound by using water cannons and tear gas, while students pushed at the Parliament Building’s gate.

The Jakarta Police deployed some 18 thousand police officers to guard the Parliament building. The protests began in the morning and lasted until evening.

In solidarity with the students in Jakarta, thousands of university students across Indonesia staged similar protests in Solo, Palembang, Medan, Bandung, Garut, Malang, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Makassar, Denpasar, Tarakan, and Palangka Raya.

The rally in Makassar, South Sulawesi, turned chaotic when students threw stones, and police fired teargas shells and beat up students with clubs.

Three journalists, including the ones from Antara news agency and Makassartoday online media, were injured as they were also beaten up by police officers. The police tried to stop the journalists from taking pictures of students being beaten up.

“I did not listen to their order to not take pictures, so they grabbed me and kicked my stomach and back,” Ishak from Makassartoday, said. “As for Muh Darwin Fatir (Antara’s journalist), (he was) pulled into a hallway and beaten up,” he added.

Similar rallies have been taking place for the past several days across Indonesia.

Source: ANTARA News