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December 14th, 2011 WW Staff | NikeLeaks Cables: Asia
 

POLICE SHOW RESTRAINT IN HANDLING CASCADE OF RECENT DEMONSTRATIONS

     
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Reference ID: 07JAKARTA2476    
Created: 2007-09-07 10:20    
Released: 2011-08-30 01:44      
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL    
Origin: Embassy Jakarta
                 

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DE RUEHJA #2476/01 2501020
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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.
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