10 Public Figures Use 212 Peace Rally to Attempt Coup?

Friday, 02 December 2016 , 19:00:00 WIB - Politics

The National Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob Polri) officers tighten the security after arresting numerous public figures who are allegedly attempting a coup at Brimob detention center (Mako) in Kelapa Dua, Depok, West Java, Friday (2/12). Some public figures comprising Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, Ratna Sarumpaet, Sri Bintang Pamungkas, and Kivlan Zein were arrested by the Jakarta Police (Polda Metro Jaya) on Friday (2/12) morning for allegedly attempting a coup. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – A few hours before thousands of Muslims held a peace rally on 2nd of December 2016, numerous public figures were arrested by the police for allegedly attempting a coup. The police captured them immediately as it would be dangerous if they provoked the protesters.

10 people were arrested by the police. They were arrested in separate places. Some of them are first President Soekarno’s daughter Rachmawati, Adityawarman Thaha, Kivlan Zein, Firza Huzein, Ratna Sarumpaet, and musician Ahmad Dhani. They were arrested based on the Jakarta Police officers’ investigation result.

The National Police Headquarters (Mabes Polri) spokesperson Rikwanto said that the 10 public figures are being interrogated at the police Mobile Brigade detention center (Mako Brimob) in Kelapa Dua, Depok.

Rikwanto didn’t explain in detail about the coup attempt allegations that dragged the 10 public figures who are well-known for opposing the government. Rikwanto also mentioned that the police are still studying the evidence.

"We’re still studying the evidence. One thing for sure, it’s related to conspiracy," he ended his speech.

The National Police Public Relations Division Head Boy Rafli Amar said that the ten arrested activists have been named as suspects. However, the police are still considering their detention process in one day.

He explained that the police are still questioning the 10 activists. He also explained why the police arrested the 10 activists last night. According to him, last night is the right moment to capture them.

10 of them have been named as suspects. Eight of them are charged with Article 107 juncto Article 110 juncto Article 87 of the Criminal Code. Meanwhile, the two other suspects are charged with Law on Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE Law).

"The police have kept an eye on their activities since the last three weeks," Boy said.

"They intend to persuade and provoke the protesters to attempt a coup against the existing government by using the demonstrators and today’s activity," he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Bintang Pamungkas’ wife Ernalia feels unfortunate with the arrest of his husband. According to her, Sri Bintang was arrested because of a message in a letter.

Erlina explained that her husband didn’t attempt a coup. On First December, his husband was not involved in a coup attempt, he just delivered a letter to the House of Representatives and People’s Consultative Assembly, and the Indonesian Military (TNI) Base in Cilangkap.

EXCESSIVE – However, the arrest of ten activists is considered excessive by some experts. Law practitioner of Jakarta Islamic State University, Andi Syafrani, sees no evidence show the arrested ten activists are attempting a coup. Despite this, he relies on the law enforcers to uphold the law. Andi believes that the police have owned the evidence of the coup attempt allegations.

"The police must have the evidence, but we rely on the National Police to continue the legal proceedings," Andi told gres.news, Friday (2/12).

Meanwhile, an expert on politics of the Political Literacy Institute, Adi Prayitno, considers the arrest of anti-government public figures by the police is excessive. Adi states that the arrest is bad news for the democracy development in Indonesia as it would prevent people from delivering their criticism against the government.

Further, Adi said the coup attempt allegation is premature. The coup plan is only implicated with the demand of some activists who planned to surround the House of Representatives and People’s Consultative Assembly building and asked for a special session to revoke the mandates of President Joko Widodo’s administration.

"The arrest of the anti-government activists would trigger a polemic and turn the state situation not favorable. Once again, I want to say that this is bad news for our democracy." Adi said to gres.news.

General Chairman of Gerindra Party, Prabowo Subianto, also considers that the coup attempt accusation is excessive. Democracy means giving the right to express opinions. I think it’s too far to judge them attempting a coup, Prabowo said in a press conference at Gerindra Central Executive Board (DPP) Office, South Jakarta, Friday (2/12). (dtc)