6 dead and 200 injured in the Indonesia post-election riots

One month after the general election was held, the General Elections Commission (KPU) of Indonesia finally announced the election results. Joko Widodo won again by gaining 55.5% of votes, while his opponent Prabowo Subianto got only 44.5%. Although Widodo won comfortably this time (last time only won by a thin margin of 6%), Subianto and his supporters took to the streets to protest against the results. Protesters clashed with the military police, during the Mobile Brigade dormitory was attacked with fire, the military police responded with tear gas. After nearly five hours of confrontation, the police forces evacuated. Six people died and over 200 people were injured until 9 a.m. on 22 May.  

The KPU announced the presidential election results on 21 May, current president Widodo was re-elected. His rival Subianto had refused to accept the results. Subianto’s supporters started a large-scale protest in front of Bawaslu (the election supervisory agency in Indonesia). At around 7 p.m. on 21 May, an evening prayer was done with over 10,000 of citizens joining. According to local media like CNN Indonesia, the eviction started at around 0:30 at midnight, then the Mobile Brigade dormitory located at Petamburan was set on fire. Protesters set fire to the car on the road, burned tires and wood. The military police used tear gas and water tankers repeatedly to evict protesters within a few hours and also used police vehicles to approach the crowd. The protesters responded by continuously throwing firecrackers and stones to the police force. The scene was full of gunfire and smog.

Argo Yuwono, Head of Public Relations Division at the Jakarta Police, pointed out that demonstrators protesting in front of Bawaslu due to the dissatisfaction with the results of the presidential election from evening to night performed orderly and the protest ended peacefully, but there were protesters deliberately provoked the military police later. Military police in the market near Tanah Abang had a confrontation with the protesters for a few hours and the police force decided to retreat, but the protesters started to attack with firecrackers. Two military police officials returned fire with tear gas guns before leaving. However, there was an audio-visual accusation that police fired with a real gun in Tanah Abang circulating on Indonesia social media after the conflict. Yuwono denied in an interview today. He said that all security personnel did not use a real gun which would lead to death and injury in the conflict.

As the Indonesian society is still in turmoil, it is reminded that people who have to go to Indonesia recently must be careful about their personal safety.

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