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Cablegate: C-D18-00223: Medan -- Demonstrators Vandalize

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PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHDT RUEHGI
RUEHHM RUEHIK RUEHJS RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHLZ RUEHPW RUEHROV
DE RUEHJA #0674 0941008
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031008Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8552
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2261
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1707
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1751
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2487
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2545
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 0678
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000674

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, DS/IP/EAP, DS/ATA, CA/OCS,
EUR/WE
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ASEC ID NL
SUBJECT: C-D18-00223: MEDAN -- DEMONSTRATORS VANDALIZE
DUTCH CONSULATE

REF: A. JAKARTA 655

B. STATE 20822

1. (U) In Indonesia's first violent reaction against the
anti-Islamic film "Fitna," 50 students from a North Sumatra
Islamic students' organization vandalized the Dutch consulate
in Medan on April 2. Police failed to react quickly enough
to control the students, who broke down the consulate gate,
burned the Dutch flag, torched the building entrance, and
broke several windows with rocks, sources in Medan told
DepPol/C. Police arrested 22 demonstrators while the others
scattered, sources told us. No one was injured in the
incident.

2. (U) The students from the Islamic Students
Association--an organization with a moderate reputation with
branches nationwide--coming from several universities,
reportedly became agitated after protesting for an hour
without reaction from consulate staff, according to media
reports. In addition, Dutch embassy sources and human rights
contacts in Medan confirmed that police were slow to react
when the students began their assault on the facility.
Police were likely spread thin that day with political
rallies for the upcoming gubernatorial elections, human
rights sources told us. The students apparently had a permit
for the demonstration.

3. (U) This type of violence is rare in Medan and was due to
heightened emotions over the film and the fact that police
failed to control the situation, human rights activists told
us, adding, however, that the arrests were fully justified.
Human rights groups in Medan told us that while they support
the students demonstrating against the film, they condemn the
violence (as does the Indonesian government and virtually the
entire religious establishment).

4. (U) As reported, there have been no other serious
incidents reported in Indonesia. Protests are expected in
Surabaya on April 4, sources told poloff in Surabaya.
HUME

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