Rally to call Jakarta governor's ouster 'will be super peaceful'

World Monday 28/November/2016 16:35 PM
By: Times News Service
Rally to call Jakarta governor's ouster 'will be super peaceful'

Jakarta: Indonesia's police chief said that a rally to be held by groups on Friday calling for the ouster of Jakarta's governor would be "super peaceful" and confined to a park to help prevent a repeat of protest violence earlier this month.
More than 100,000 people, led by hardliners, took to the streets on November 4 to protest against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is accused of blasphemy.
One person was killed and more than 100 were wounded when the protest, the biggest in the city in recent years, briefly turned violent, and police fired tear gas and water cannon.
National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said authorities had agreed with organisers that the rally would be held in a park in central Jakarta, rather than on streets running through traffic-clogged central Jakarta.
"We will prepare everything, so we hope everything will be orderly and super peaceful," Karnavian told a news conference.
In a sign of greater coordination between authorities and protest organisers, Muslim leaders also attended the news conference.
Habib Rizieq, the head of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a hardline group backing the recent rallies, said it wanted the governor to be arrested immediately but pledged the demonstration would be peaceful.
Karnavian said he hoped that other groups, such as trades unions, would delay protests planned for the same day and that no third party would try to disrupt the demonstration.
President Joko Widodo has blamed "political actors" for fanning violence without naming anyone and the police chief has also said some demonstrators may try to use the rallies to storm parliament.
The trigger for the recent religious tensions was a comment that Jakarta governor Purnama made about his opponents' in political campaigning.
Police have named Purnama a suspect in the blasphemy probe. He faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.
Police have concluded their investigation and given the dossier to the Attorney General's office, which will decide whether to proceed.
Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, is running for re-election in February against two candidates. He denies any wrongdoing but has apologised for his comments.