Laborer Association: Jokowi Silences Laborers

Wednesday, 23 March 2016 , 14:10:00 WIB - Social

Laborers are attending the first court trial on the laborers who demonstrated against the Government Regulation No. 78/2015 at the District Court of Jakarta, Tuesday (22/3). ( Waluyo)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS.COM – Laborers are struggling against the police, who have apprehended and filed charges against 23 laborers, one university student and two lawyers from the Legal Aid Institute (LBH). The charges are connected with the demonstration against the Government Regulation No.78/2015 on Wages.

The demonstration was staged at the National Monument (Monas) and the court trials for the case have begun at the District Court of Jakarta.

The All-Indonesia United Workers Confederation (KPBI), who saw nine of its members apprehended and charged, said the police are criminalizing its members. "We believe that there is an effort to silence the public who are criticizing the government, who wants to protect investors," said Ilham Syah, Chairman of KPBI, to, Wednesday (23/3).

According to Ilham, the laborers who demonstrated to demand improved welfare were practicing their rights. He also denies that the demonstration turned anarchic. In fact, the Minster of Manpower, Hanif Dhakiri, visited the demonstrators and tried to explain to them about the regulation, although his explanation failed to convince them.

Meanwhile, the arrest of two Legal Aid Institute lawyers was illegal as they have immunity rights based on Law No.18/2003. "Why are they being dragged to court by the police?" he questioned.

Ilham accuses the Jokowi administration attempting to criminalize the people involved in the demonstration through the police, following their high reliance on foreign investors.

"They (the government) are aggressively foreign investors to invest in Indonesia, so Jokowi feels the necessity to make regulations and actions that protect foreign investors," he said.

Meanwhile, the police claim that they apprehended some laborers and advocates as they refused to disband at 18.00 hours. The Police Regulation, they explained, bans demonstrations after 18.00.

However, Ilham denies the regulation, saying that police regulations cannot be set as grounds to impose sanctions violators.

"Police regulations cannot be used to impose legal sanctions. Is it possible that the position of police regulations is not above the law?" he said.

Meanwhile, in regards to the arrest of and charges against the lawyers, Legal Aid Institute director Alghifari Aqsa said this has become a bad record for the Jokowi administration as he has arrested people who expressed their aspirations publicly. ( Waluyo/Armidis Fahmi)