Indonesia: Security leaders say anti-blasphemy rally may be treason guise

The Parliament building was occupied by thousands of students during the mass protests in 1998 that caused dictator Suharto to step down.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities said Monday they believe a protest planned by Muslim hard-liners next month in the capital may be a guise for treason and are warning the organizers against holding the rally.

The protest planned for Dec. 2 is to demand the arrest of Jakarta’s minority-Chinese governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is being investigated for alleged blasphemy after he spoke about a passage in the Quran that prohibits Muslims from electing non-Muslims as leaders.

National police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian and military chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said at a joint news conference they have received credible information about the possibility of treason behind the planned rally.

“We know that they have held several meetings where they plan to mobilize people to occupy the Parliament building,” Karnavian said.

The Parliament building was occupied by thousands of students during the mass protests in 1998 that caused dictator Suharto to step down.

Karnavian said an attempt to try to occupy the building again could be seen as a move to topple President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration.

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