World

Indonesian police arrest 5 ahead of protest against Jakarta governor

JAKARTA: Indonesian police arrested five people, including a leader of a hardline Islamist group, for suspected treason yesterday before a protest by thousands of Muslims demanding the sacking of Jakarta's Christian governor, a police spokesman said.

Religious and political tensions have been running high ahead of the second and final round of the Jakarta election on April 19.

Incumbent Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who is on trial for blasphemy, is competing against a Muslim candidate.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Indonesia media that five people had been arrested early yesterday, including Muhammad Al Khaththath, a leader of the Islamic People's Forum (FUI), a hardline group that organised Friday's rally.

"We are charging them with conspiring to commit treason," Mr Yuwono told broadcaster TVOne. "There were several findings, including a plan to occupy parliament," he said. - REUTERS

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