Protests resume in Indonesia over the revision of the anti-corruption law | news


Thousands of Indonesian students resumed protests on Monday against a new law that paralyzed the country's anti-corruption agency, with some clashes with the police.

The authorities blocked the roads leading to the Parliament building in Jakarta, where 560 members of the House of Representatives, whose terms ended on Monday, held their last session.

The clashes between students who threw stones and the riot police broke out in the evening when the police tried to disperse the protesters, who go from high school to university students, who tried to reach Parliament after the calm had returned to great part in the capital of the country in the last four days.

The protesters set the tires on fire and hit the police with stones, petrol bombs and firecrackers near the blocked roads. Riot police responded by firing tear gas and water cannons.

Indonesian protests: hundreds of injured in clashes between students and police

Similar clashes also occurred in other cities of Indonesia, including the city of Bandung in West Java and Makassar, the capital of the southern Sulawesi province, where a student was seriously injured on Friday after being accidentally struck by the # 39; riot armor.

A protest also became violent in Solo Joko Widodo's hometown in the city of Solo, in Central Java, where an angry mob threw stones at the police, injuring at least four female officers in the head.

The protesters are furious that Parliament has passed the law that reduces the authority of the commission on corruption, a key body that fights the endemic graft and that it was one of the most credible public institutions in a country where the police and parliament are widely considered corrupt.

The protests have grown since last week and have become violent in some cities.

At least three people, including two students in the city of Kendari on the island of Sulawesi, died and several hundred were injured.

The deaths of the students sparked a national protest, prompting Widodo to express his heartfelt condolences and order the national police chief to conduct a thorough investigation.

Combat corruption

The protests, which underline Indonesia's challenge in changing its distraught image, threatened Widodo's credibility, which was recently re-elected after a campaign for clean governance.

Indonesia - Bandung

On Monday, violent protests also erupted in other parts of Indonesia, including Bandung, West Java (Kusumadireza / AP)

In May he addressed the uprisings of supporters of the losing candidate, former Gen Prabowo Subianto, but those events were seen as a partisan policy with limited support.

The new protests are not associated with any particular party or political group and are instead led by students, who have historically driven political change.

The student demonstrations in 1998 led to events that led the country's longtime leader, Suharto, to resign.

Are the new laws an attack on human rights in Indonesia?

The students ask Widodo to issue a regulation to replace the new law on the corruption commission, known by its Indonesian abbreviation, KPK. Lawmakers often attack the anti-graft commission and want to reduce its powers.

Widodo told reporters that the government would not ban student demonstrations and urged protesters to avoid damaging public facilities.

"Our constitution guarantees freedom of expression, but the most important, not to be an anarchist who causes harm and violates the law," Widodo said.

He said he deeply listened to the aspirations of the people expressed by the students through the protests.

Widodo said last week that he was planning to revoke the new anti-corruption law, but the idea was immediately opposed by members of his coalition in Parliament.

Bambang Wuryanto, a struggling Indonesian Democratic Party legislator, warned that Widodo's political image and his ties with coalition parties would be damaged.

Save KPK

The protesters accused the politicians of trying to water down the anti-corruption agency, KPK (Adek Berry / AFP)

"This would mean that the president does not respect the House of Representatives," Wuryanto said.

An anticorruption watchdog, Indonesia Corruption Watch, has accused lawmakers of trying to protect themselves after the commission appointed 23 MPs in office as suspects of corruption, including former Speaker of the House and leader of political parties.

Bivitri Susanti, analyst of state laws at the Center of Law and Policies Study, urged Widodo to immediately issue a government regulation to cancel the revision of the KPK law, saying it could provide people with an overview of some of the articles and procedures of the new KPK Law that is really problematic.

"We all know that political parties have the goal of making the KPK no longer effective," said Susanti.

"The president should consider the aspirations of widespread people rather than the interests of political parties."

Indonesia, the largest economy in Southeast Asia, ranked 89th out of 175 countries in the 2018 corruption perception index compiled by Transparency International.


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