News Alerts

23 May 2019 | 02:09 AM UTC

Indonesia: Tensions remain high in Jakarta May 23 /update 8

Indonesia News Alert

A heavy security presence remains deployed throughout Jakarta as of May 23 following two days of violent protests; further demonstrations likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/23/2019, 12:00 AM until 5/29/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Jakarta). COUNTRY/REGION Jakarta, Indonesia

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Protests in Jakarta continued overnight from Wednesday, May 22, into Thursday, May 23, with demonstrators clashing with security forces in some areas. Violent demonstrations broke out in the Tanah Abang, Thamrin, Sabang, and Menteng areas of the city and tensions remain high throughout Jakarta. According to media reports, protesters continued to gather in central Jakarta on Wednesday night (local time), particularly around the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) building on Jalan MH Thamrin. A high concentration of police officers and military personnel was also reported in West Jakarta. The government partially restricted access to social media on Wednesday to prevent the proliferation of "provocations" and false media reports; the restrictions are expected to last for two to three days. Heightened security measures are expected to remain in place in the coming days to prevent the protests from spreading. 

Public transportation services in Jakarta have also been disrupted by the protests. On Wednesday night, MRT official suspended underground service between Senayan station and Bundaran HI station until further notice. Further disruptions public transportation services are possible if the protests continue or escalate.

Tensions remain high and further demonstrations are possible across Jakarta over the coming hours and days, along with further clashes between protesters and security forces. Associated political rallies may also take place in other cities throughout the country.


Violent protests broke out in Jakarta on Tuesday, May 21, after the General Election Commission (KPU) announced that President Widodo won the April 17 elections after securing 55.5 percent of the vote. Opposing candidate Prabowo Subianto received 44.5 percent but has alleged there was widespread voter fraud and cheating. Prabowo's campaign team has said it will contest the election results in the Constitutional Court. At least six people have reportedly been killed and around 300 people have been wounded during the protests as of May 22. Security officials said that at least 257 people have been arrested and investigations are ongoing into the organizers of the protests.


Individuals in Jakarta, and Indonesia more generally, are advised to anticipate heightened security measures, protests, and transportation and telecommunication disruptions, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, avoid all public demonstrations, and refrain from discussing politics in public or on social media.


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