Islamic State claims its ‘fighters’ behind riot at Brimob detention center, Ahok’s sister says he is safe

UPDATE  – The Associated Press this afternoon reported that five police officers and one inmate have been killed.

As of the time of writing, police are still reportedly still attempting to fully resolve a riot that started yesterday evening at the Mobile Brigade Command Detention Center (Mako Brimob) in Depok, just outside of Jakarta, allegedly involving prisoners seizing weapons.

No deaths have been reported but a police official said that at least four people were injured in the violence, though he did not specify how many were prisoners or guards. 

Jawa Pos cited a different, anonymous police source that told them four police officers were injured as well as 2 inmates. According to the source, inmates had seized several guns and taken four guards hostage.

According to Argo Yuwono, the Jakarta Police’s head of public relations, the riot started at around 7:30pm yesterday evening after a dispute involving a prisoner asking an officer for the food his family had sent to him. When he was told the food was being held by another officer, it led the prisoner to agitate other inmates into protesting, leading to other inmates breaking cell doors and causing chaos in Blocks B and C of the detention center.

Mako Brimob in Depok holds a number of prisoners charged with terrorist activities and related crimes, including firebrand cleric Aman Abdurrahman, who was arrested for allegedly inciting others to commit terrorist attacks including the 2016 attack in Thamrin, Central Jakarta, that left four dead.

Islamic State, via its Amaq News Agency, claimed that the terrorist group’s fighters “have engaged in a clash with Indonesian anti-terrorism police inside a prison in Jakarta” in a message sent out via the Telegram app that was translated from Arabic and picked up by the Site Intelligence Group. Aman Abdurrahman has been alleged to have ISIS affiliations.

The most famous occupant of Mako Brimob in Depok is former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is currently serving his 2-year sentence for blasphemy at the maximum security detention center.

Many were concerned about Ahok’s safety after news of the riot broke, but his sister and attorney, Fifi Lety Tjahaja Purnama, informed the public via an Instagram comment that she believed her brother was safe and under God’s protection.

Screenshot: @fifiletytjahajapurnama

“From last night until this morning, there have been many phone calls and Whatsapp messages from journalists and acquaintances asking about the condition of Ahok so I’m posting my answer here here because there are still many questions about whether he is safe or not because of the riot that took place overnight. I can say that I believe that he is safe as in Psalm 91 he if safe under God’s protection.”

The comment was on a post to commemorate the one year that had passed since Ahok was first imprisoned after being found guilty at the end of his controversial blasphemy trial. The former Jakarta governor was originally going to be sent to Cipinang Prison but was moved to Mako Brimob due to security concerns.


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