Indonesia: Fearful Islamists Plan Anti-Communist Protest in Jakarta – 28 Sep 2017

  • Members of Islamist groups are planning to show up in the thousands in Jakarta on 29 Sep 17 to demonstrate against what they believe to be the rise of communism in Indonesia.
  • Tensions over the unsettled anti-communist purge of 1965 resurfaced recently as activists pushed efforts to advocate for the rights of victims and their families.
  • But those doing so have increasingly been accused by nationalists and Islamists of supporting communism, which is banned in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
  • Islamist groups, which have been gaining ground since late 2016, claim that indications of the rise of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) have been “more and more obvious.”
  • Among them are “pro-PKI” seminars and workshops that have increasingly been held by human rights activists, protest leader Slamet Maarif said.
  • About 50,000 people from the capital and surrounding cities are expected to join the protest, which will coalesce in front of the national legislative complex in South Jakarta.
  • Authorities have said they will deploy nearly 20,000 police and military personnel to safeguard the protest. About 5,000 officers of the police’s Mobile Brigade from several regions have also been sent to the capital to help with security, Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Idham Azis told reporters.

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