8 released, 3 detained for questioning as Indonesia continues treason probe


JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police said they released eight people on Saturday, including prominent citizens who were arrested a day earlier for suspected treason and other crimes but are continuing to investigate them. Three others are still detained for questioning.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said that another man, Alvinida Al-Farasi, was also arrested Friday, bringing the number of people under suspicion to 11.

They were detained hours before the second major protest by conservative Muslims against the minority Christian governor of Jakarta. It drew at least 200,000 people to the city’s streets and ended peacefully.

Amar said the group planned to use the mass rally to occupy parliament and force lawmakers to hold an extraordinary session to overthrow the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

He said those released included Rachmawati, the daughter of Indonesia’s founding president and the younger sister of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri; retired army Gen. Kivlan Zein and activist Ratna Sarumpaet.

They were cooperating with the investigation so their continued detention wasn’t necessary, he told reporters. Some opposition politicians criticized the arrests.

Police also released musician-turned-politician Ahmad Dhani, who is accused of defaming Jokowi.