“Who doesn’t condemn [the movie]? Even the American government condemns it, let alone us. We’ve already conveyed our objections to them,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa at the presidential palace on Tuesday.
Marty said he could understand why the movie sparked so many protests.
With regards to Monday’s anarchic demonstration in front of the US Embassy in Jakarta, the minister said the US ambassador has not lodged a protest.
National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said that preventive and security measures have been taken and are being coordinated by the Jakarta Police.
One of the measures is to approach the leaders of the mass organizations and members of the public that staged the protest on Monday.
“[You] can protest, go ahead because it’s protected by the law,” Timur said. “But don’t do something that harms the public or damages property.”
The police have also heightened security not only at the US Embassy and other embassies but also at the country’s important landmarks.
Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto said the country runs on democratic ideals that allow people to stage protests and express ideas, but they must be conducted according to the law and in an orderly manner.
“There have to be limits to freedom if it’s going to disturb a lot of people,” Djoko said. “That’s why the law must be enforced.”
The Jakarta Police released five people who were detained for questioning related to Monday’s protest.
“The five people were detained when the anarchy took place during the demonstration in front of the US Embassy. One of them with the initials A.D. was interrogated on the spot but was released immediately. Four others were brought to the Jakarta Police headquarters for questioning,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Tuesday.
However, police concluded that they didn’t have sufficient evidence to charge them with vandalism.
“The investigation on the four, whose initials are N.R., D.Y., A.S., and E., concluded that there was not enough evidence. We released them at 2:30 p.m.,” he added.
About 1,000 protestors hurled stones and Molotov cocktails in a clash with police outside the US Embassy in Central Jakarta on Monday afternoon during a protest against the anti-Islam film.
The demonstration started off peacefully as the group of several hundred protesters, many dressed in white, marched toward the mission on Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan.
But the protest turned violent outside the embassy as members of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Islamic Peoples Forum (FUI) flooded the scene, throwing rocks at the embassy and police.
Eleven police officers were hurt during the incident.
Rikwanto also said that the FPI has met with the Jakarta Police chief to apologize.
“The FPI came to see the police chief to extend their apology. They didn’t intend to engage in any anarchic acts, they just wanted to protest the movie and demanded that the film director be punished. So what happened on the ground was very situational and unplanned,” Rikwanto said.
The demonstrations were the latest protests in Jakarta against “Innocence of Muslims,” which has set off a series of violent protests across the globe.
Demonstrations were also held on Monday in the cities of Medan and Bandung. Over the weekend in the Central Java town of Solo, protesters stormed KFC and McDonald’s restaurants, forcing customers to leave and management to close the stores.
The US Embassy posted a warning on its website telling American citizens to exercise caution in Jakarta and Medan and avoid large groups.