Indonesia police release treason suspects, continue probe

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police said they released eight people Saturday who were arrested a day earlier for suspected treason and other crimes. They said they were continuing to investigate the eight, who include prominent citizens, and that three others who were arrested were still being held for questioning.

Police initially said they had detained 10 people, but national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said that an 11th suspect, Alvinida Al-Farasi, was arrested Friday.

They were detained hours before the second major protest by conservative Muslims against the minority Christian governor of Jakarta. Friday's rally 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, Amar told reporters.

Some opposition politicians criticized the arrests.

Police also released musician-turned-politician Ahmad Dhani, who is accused of defaming Jokowi. Authorities are still holding Sri Bintang Pamungkas, a noted political prisoner under late dictator Suharto's regime, and two people suspected of breaches of the electronic information and transactions law.

Dhani and Sarumpaet were part of the campaign team for Prabowo Subianto in the 2014 presidential election that Subianto lost to Jokowi.

Amar said that Friday's arrests were a law enforcement issue and not an attempt to deny freedom of speech or opinion.

"We are living in a state based on law, our democracy does not mean that citizens are free to do anything," he said. "Providing feedback with critical views is common in a democratic nation, but law enforcement action should be taken when authorities detect a conspiracy of treason."

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