Protests in Indonesia: Hundreds arrested in 'omnibus law' protests in Jakarta

Protests in Indonesia: Hundreds arrested in ‘omnibus law’ protests in Jakarta

At least 60 protesters and six police were injured during a rally near the Presidential Palace on the third day of a nationwide strike in the Southeast Asian nation, the news agency reported.

The videos showed protesters shouting, throwing stones, breaking into buildings and firing near the national palace as police deployed water cannons and tear gas to disperse crowds.

The Indonesian Red Cross said some protesters suffered from shortness of breath after police fired tear gas. They also fired water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Critics say the new legislation, known locally as the “omnibus law”, abolishes certain labor rights, indigenous communities’ rights and environmental protection. They also complain that the legislation was passed to parliament without consulting the unions.

President Joko Widodo has described the law as a tool for creating new jobs, reforming labor regulations, reducing bureaucracy and attracting foreign investment.

Protests erupted in major cities across Indonesia following the passage of the law in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Protesters gather in Jakarta on Thursday to protest against the law.

Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Yuri Yunus told Antara that police were injured after a group of people took part in a demonstration and started rioting and vandalizing public facilities.

Yunus confirmed the 400 arrests and referred to the protesters as an “anarchist group”.

Jakarta police have deployed more than 9,000 people as a precautionary measure against the protests, Yunus told Antara.

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