Indonesian musician Ananda Badudu questioned by police, then released, over fundraiser for student protesters

Ananda Badudu. Photo: Instagram/@anandabadudu
Ananda Badudu. Photo: Instagram/@anandabadudu

Ananda Badudu, formerly of indie band Banda Neira and a former journalist for Tempo, was taken in by the Jakarta Metro Police this morning for questioning over a crowdfunding campaign he had initiated for student protesters in the capital.

Ananda was reportedly picked up by police at around 4:30am in Tebet, South Jakarta and faced around five hours of questioning before he was released without charge.

“We’d like to express our gratitude and bring Ananda home. He needs to rest,” Usman Hamid, Ananda’s legal representative and executive director Amnesty International Indonesia, said as quoted by Alinea.

Ananda said he was fortunate to have people backing him up through the ordeal.

“I am someone who is lucky to have the privilege to be released immediately. But inside, I saw so many university students who were processed [by the police] without legal aid, processed in unethical ways and they need more help than I do,” Ananda said after his release.

Ananda was reportedly questioned over the IDR175 million (US$12,400) he had raised on local crowdfunding platform Kitabisa that was intended to pay for the accommodation of students protesting in Jakarta.

Jakarta Police Spokesman Argo Yuwono said Ananda was taken in for questioning after one student protester, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer, said he had received IDR10 million from Ananda.

Police arrested 94 student protesters on Tuesday and more than 500 on Wednesday following skirmishes that saw a police post set ablaze. Without giving exact numbers, police said that most of the protesters had been released.

Demonstrations led largely by university student activists erupted in cities across Indonesia this week in protest of the government’s action (or inaction) on a number of pressing issues facing the country.

The protesters’ two biggest demands have been the rejection of the bill to revise the country’s criminal code (RKUHP), which had previously been set for passage on Tuesday, and the law revising the regulations governing the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) that was passed last week.

The police have been under fire for their heavy-handed reaction to the protests and excessive use of force, including the use of water cannons and tear gas to disperse demonstrations. There are also numerous videos showing alleged incidents of severe police brutality. Hundreds of protesters have been reported injured and at least two have died.

Police have also been accused of using intimidation and violence against numerous journalists attempting to cover these abuses.

Chief Security Minister Wiranto and other senior officials have claimed that the protests have been hijacked by a group aiming to disrupt Parliament and the second inauguration of President Joko Widodo next month, but did not name the group or provide evidence for the accusation.

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CITY: JAKARTACATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS

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