Since the bloody crackdown by the Egyptian military on civilian supporters of ousted President Muhammad Morsi on August 14, 2013, a number of rallies have been held in many parts of Indonesia.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Following the escalation of the political tension and the increase in the number of fatalities in Egypt, a number of Indonesian NGOs organized rallies to show their solidarity with civilians who have become victims of mass killings.

Since the bloody crackdown by the Egyptian military on civilian supporters of ousted President Muhammad Morsi on August 14, 2013, a number of rallies have been held in many parts of Indonesia such as in Jakarta, Palu (Central Sulawesi), Surabaya (East Java), Solo, Purwokerto (Central Java), Banjarmasin (South Kalimantan), Pekanbaru (Riau), Mataram (West Nusa Tenggara), Batam and Tanjungpinang (Riau Islands), Bogor (West Java), Palembang (South Sumatra), Medan (North Sumatra), and Banda Aceh (Aceh Darussalam).

In the capital city of Jakarta last Friday (Aug 16), around 500 protestors grouped in the South East Asia Humanitarian Committee (SEA Hum) rallied in front of the UN representative office.

Five of the demonstrators were received by an official of the UN office and they submitted their demands.

"We ask the UN to make an investigation over the violence in Egypt. If there is an indication of humanitarian crime, the case should be brought to the International Court," President of Dompet Dhuafa Ahmad Juwaini who joined the rally, said.

On the same day, thousands of members of an NGO called Islamic Society for Democracy and Humanity (WISDOMS) held a rally in front of the US embassy in Jakarta.

WISDOMS asked US President Barack Obama to uphold democracy and to end its hypocrisy in implementing democracy.

The rally, which started from Istiqlal Grand Mosque, also called on the Indonesian government to react strongly to the "humanitarian crime" in Egypt by recalling the Indonesian ambassador to Egypt.

The protestors called on the United Nations to bring General Abdul Fatah El Sisi before the International Court for the bloody crackdown that killed around 600 people.

The rally dubbed "Their Blood is Our Blood" was led by Dr. Agus Setiawan and participated by some Muslim prominent figures such as Sadeli Karim, the chairman of the Matla`ul Anwar, and Prof. Ahmad Satori Ismail MA, the chairman of the Indonesian Preachers` Association (IKADI).

In Batam, there have been two rallies over the several days. The first rally was organized by members of Muslim organizations such as KAMMI, HMI and ITJIL on Friday.

On Sunday, hundreds of people grouped in the Humanitarian Committee for Egyptian People held a rally in Batam, Riau Islands Province, condemning the bloody violence in the Middle Eastern country.

"We condemn the mass killings of civilians by the Egyptian military. We also urge President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to take a firm stance apart from just expressing concern," Anizul Maidi, the committee`s chairman, said.

The protestors called on the United Nations and the International Amnesty to take actions against those committing the humanitarian crimes in Egypt.

"Thousands of people were killed and tens of thousands of others were injured. The UN must deal with the case," he said.

In Palu, Central Sulawesi, a number of protestors grouped in the Central Sulawesi People`s Alliance for Egypt and led by an individual named Irham, staged their rally after participating in the flag-hoisting ceremony in commemoration of the 68th anniversary of Indonesia`s independence.

Irham pointed out that the recent coup against Egypt`s legitimate government was an anti-democratic act and shooting innocent people was a crime against humanity, he added.

The protestors have urged the Indonesian government to deliver humanitarian aid to Egypt.

"We also call on all Indonesians to pray for and send assistance to the Egyptian people who have become victims of the violence," Irham stated.

In addition to the people, the Indonesian leaders have also expressed their concern over "dangerous" situation in Egypt, which has so far been considered a very good friend of Indonesia.

Many Indonesians have prayed for the Egyptian people to be able to go through the transitional period toward democracy peacefully by reaching reconciliations and compromises to avoid further bloodshed.

"As a good friend of Egypt, we should help the Egyptian people through prayers and our experiences," Muhammad Najib, a legislator, said in Jakarta on August 2, 2013.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa recently said Indonesia has been trying to communicate with the Egyptian government to come up with solutions to their domestic problems.

The minister has urged Indonesians living in Egypt to stay away from areas prone to conflicts and avoid getting entangled in the ongoing conflict.

The Indonesian government, however, has not yet made plans to evacuate its citizens from Egypt, even though tensions are running high following violence-marred demonstrations there.

On the issue of people who wish to help Egypt, the minister advised extending assistance through appropriate channels such as the Red Cross.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in his state-of-the-nation address at the parliament building on August 16, 2013, said the use of military force to disperse demonstrators in Egypt is against democratic and humanitarian values.

"I urge conflicting parties to exercise self-restraint," said Yudhoyono.

The president hopes that conflicting parties in Egypt would start the national reconciliation process to end the political crisis immediately.

"Indonesia is deeply concerned about what is happening in Egypt," he said.

He has called for an immediate halt to the bloody conflict in Egypt to prevent the loss of more lives.

"The situation in Egypt is complex. However, if all conflicting parties are willing to compromise, a win-win solution can be attained," he stated.

A strong reaction to the bloody crackdown came from the Indonesian Ulemas Council (MUI) which called on the government to recall its Ambassador to Egypt, Nurfaizi Suwandi, as a form of protest for the violence against demonstrators in that country.

"President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s statements will hold more meaning if the Indonesian ambassador is recalled from Cairo," said MUI Chairman Slamet Effendy on Friday.

Indonesia, he continued, should take a firmer stand against the violence in Egypt by stepping up efforts to support peace and bring democracy back to the country.

Slamet said the Indonesian government should also call on the United Nations to press General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to hand back power to the government.

"President Yudhoyono also needs to convene a meeting among members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and discuss ways to urge Egypt to resume its democratic process," he added.

Indonesia`s largest Muslim organisation Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) through its chairman, Said Agil Siradj, strongly condemned the violence in Egypt.

"We strongly condemn the mass killings following a political deadlock in Egypt. There is no need to point fingers at anyone. The mass killings are obviously a violation of human rights and should be ended with dignity," explained Said Agil over the phone on Friday.

Every Muslim should show solidarity by at least offering his/her prayers, he said.

Saleh Partaonan Daulay, the chairman of the youth wing of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia`s second largest Muslim organization, also urged the US government to stop providing US1.3 billion in annual aid to the Egyptian military because the US aid has only strengthened the military`s actions against civilians.

"It`s not enough for President Barack Obama to only issue a statement denouncing the tragedy. The US must help find the best solution through international diplomacy," he said.

"Islamic countries must unite to respond to the Egyptian crisis. The safety of the Egyptian people must be prioritized. In this point, Indonesia could play a strategic role," Daulay said on Friday.

He added that international diplomatic efforts are needed to help solve the problems in Egypt and OIC member countries should hold an emergency meeting concerning Egypt.

Daulay also urged the Egyptian military to release President Morsi and to hold talks with the opposition.

"I am sure if Morsi is released his supporters will calm down, and by doing so a conflict between pro-Morsi supporters and the military could be prevented," he added. (*)

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2013