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Indonesia President cancels trip abroad after deadly protest

Muslim protesters display a large banner during a rally against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday. Tens of thousands of hard-line Muslims marched Friday on the center of the Indonesian capital to demand the arrest of the minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy. The banner reads: "Put Ahok in prison."  

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has canceled a visit to Australia after a massive rally in the capital by Muslim hard-liners descended into violence, leaving one dead and 12 injured.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry says Mr. Jokowi’s trip scheduled from Sunday to Tuesday will be rescheduled because “current development has required the President to stay in Indonesia.”

Mr. Jokowi addressed the nation late Friday after clashes broke out between police and hard-liners who refused to disperse. They demanded the arrest of Jakarta’s minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

Police say one elderly man died from asthma attack after being exposed to tear gas, and the injured included eight soldiers and police and four civilians.

Mr. Jokowi blamed “political actors” for taking advantage of the rally. His predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono backed the protest.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:40:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Indonesia-President-cancels-trip-abroad-after-deadly-protest/article16437471.ece

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