Reference ID: 07JAKARTA2476    

Created: 2007-09-07 10:20    

Released: 2011-08-30 01:44      

Classification: CONFIDENTIAL    

Origin: Embassy Jakarta

                 


VZCZCXRO0866

OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM

DE RUEHJA #2476/01 2501020

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 071020Z SEP 07

FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6123

INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1135

RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1340

RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0763

RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1729

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC


C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002476

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, S/CT, DS/ICI/RFJ, DS/IP/EAP, DRL,

EAP/MLS, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/CC, DS/IP/SC

INR FOR CHARLIE ZENZIE, HEIDI PANETTA

DOJ FOR CTS THORNTON, AAG SWARTZ

DOJ FOR CRIM AAG BRUCE SWARTZ

DOJ/OPDAT FOR LEHMANN/ALEXANDRE/ BERMAN, DOJ/CTS FOR

MULLANEY, ST.HILAIRE

FBI FOR ITOSI/SSA SOLOMON

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/07/2017

TAGS: PGOV PTER ASEC PINS ID

SUBJECT: POLICE SHOW RESTRAINT IN HANDLING CASCADE OF

RECENT DEMONSTRATIONS

 

REF: A. JAKARTA 02423

 

     ¶B. JAKARTA 02349

     ¶C. JAKARTA 02202

 

Classified By: Pol/C Joseph Legend Novak, reasons 1.4 (b)(d).

 

¶1. (C) SUMMARY:  The Indonesian police have repeatedly shown

restraint in dealing with large and sometimes volatile crowds

in recent months.  This trend suggests that the

police--including the Mobile Brigade--are developing a level

of professionalism that is increasingly in line with

international standards.  It also confirms the value of the

professional training provided by the USG and other

countries.  END SUMMARY.

 

¶2. (SBU) SHOWING RESTRAINT:  The recent performance of the

Indonesian National Police (INP) and its Mobile Brigade unit

in the face of large and sometimes violent demonstrations and

protests occurring at diverse locations throughout Indonesia

offers solid evidence that the GOI is succeeding in managing

large crowds in a more professional manner.  The police are,

for example, increasingly employing use-of-force rules in

line with international standards and avoiding human-rights

violations, even when the police sustain casualties.  The

following examples from the past several months attest to

this positive trend:

 

-- September 2, 2007:  Tumult in Southeast Aceh due to an

election result (ref A):  Roughly 300 protesters threw rocks

at the police.  Twelve people were arrested and six police

officers were injured.  The police used tear gas and water

cannons to disperse the crowd in a successful, non-lethal

manner.

 

- August 21-22:  Ternate, North Maluku:  Approximately 300

people protested at a swearing-in ceremony of a local

official in support of an opposing candidate who had been

disqualified from running.  The crowd threw rocks at police,

injuring six officers.  The police used tear gas and water

cannons to disperse the crowd.  Nine people were slightly

injured (ref B).

 

- August 12:  A conference in Jakarta sponsored by a Muslim

extremist group in support of a &Caliphate8:  Over 70,000

people attended the open-air event at a local stadium.  There

were hundreds of Mobile Brigade officers on hand in case of

violence.  The conference occurred without reports of arrests

or injuries (ref C).

 

- July 17:  Nearly 14,000 angry factory workers demonstrated

outside the Jakarta Stock Exchange building to protest

planned lay-offs by factories leased by  manufacturer Nike.

Hundreds of police were mobilized.  There were no reports of

serious injury or arrests.

 

- May 1:  Jakarta:  Tens of thousands of workers demonstrated

throughout Indonesia to demand better wages and job

protection.  More than 30,000 police were mobilized in

Jakarta to control the situation.  There were no reports of

serious violence or arrests.

 

¶3. (U) Moreover, each day in Jakarta, the INP issues 5-10

permits to organizations requesting an opportunity to

demonstrate.  The numbers of demonstrators usually range from

25-500.  The overwhelming majority of these demonstrations

occur without incident.

 

¶4. (SBU) USG ASSISTANCE WORKING:  In late 2000, DOJ ICITAP

(with State/INL funding) began Civil Disorder Management

(CDM) training with the INP, excluding the Mobile Brigade.

We are currently unable to provide INL-funded training to the

Mobile Brigade due to existing policy restrictions.  (Note:

For smaller demonstrations, the regular police stand by.  For

larger demonstrations, the Mobile Brigade, also known as

 

JAKARTA 00002476  002 OF 002

 

 

BRIMOB, is put on alert in case of violence.  Because of past

human rights abuses, the Mobile Brigade has had a negative

reputation.  End Note.)  To date, there have been no major

injuries to Indonesian civilians by those police trained by

the USG.  The recent handling of demonstrations as reviewed

above suggests that the INP, including the Mobile Brigade,

are demonstrating increasing professionalism and tact, while

working under difficult circumstances.  While abuses were

common in such situations in the past, such incidents are now

increasingly rare.  The police are now using non-lethal force

as a means to control crowds.  This positive performance

validates the professional training provided by USG's ICITAP

program and by other foreign donors.

 

¶5.  (C) MORE PROGRESS NEEDED:  The available evidence appears

to confirm that the Indonesian police are slowly transforming

themselves from a relatively undisciplined force to a more

mature one appropriate to Indonesia's new democratic era.

That said, the potential for abuse remains and further

progress is needed to enhance professionalism.  USG programs

are serving a vital function in assisting this ongoing

transformational process.  Embassy Jakarta is reviewing what

steps we should be taking to make more progress in this

significant transformational diplomacy program.

HUME