Jakarta Police Release Four Detainees Following Violent US Embassy Protest

By webadmin on 08:22 pm Sep 18, 2012
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Bayu Marhaenjati

Police have released four people detained on Monday for allegedly committing acts of violence during a protest of a contentious anti-Islam movie in front of the US Embassy in Jakarta on Monday.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said there was not enough evidence to extend the suspects’ detention.

The four were arrested on Monday when a demonstration involving hundreds of members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the Islamic People Forum (FUI) and other Muslim groups turned violent, injuring some police officers and demonstrators.

Police did not say whether the four were members of the FPI or another organization.

“Based on the results of the questioning, we’ve concluded that there is not enough evidence [to name] the four . . . [as suspects]. We released them at 2.30 p.m. today,” Rikwanto said in Jakarta on Tuesday, identifying the suspects as N. R., D. Y., A. S. and E.

He added that police also questioned another protester on Monday, but immediately released him while the demonstration was still in progress. Neither of the five will be obliged to report to police following their release.

Rikwanto also said that some FPI officials met with Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Untung S. Rajab to offer an apology after the demonstration turned violent and several protestors hurled Molotov cocktails at police, who retaliated by shooting tear gas and water cannons.

“The FPI did not intend to commit anarchy. They had only planned to protest against the movie that derides the Prophet, and demand that the director be punished. The condition in the field was very situational and [the violence] was not planned,” Rikwanto said.

He went on to remind people to report to police before staging a protest, and to abide by the rules and abstain from violence.