Musician Ananda Badudu, who is in the police’s crosshairs after commenting on their alleged mistreatment of detained university students, has asserted that he is ready to face legal proceedings and “voice the truth”.
The Jakarta Police to Ananda, demanding that he retract his statement, which suggested that the police had questioned university students by employing unethical methods and without legal assistance.
“I will not run. I will answer should the police summon me,” Ananda said during a press briefing at Tempo’s office in Jakarta on Tuesday evening.
“My point is that the truth has to be told, whatever the risk. I’m not Pinocchio and I will continue to voice the truth,” he said, referring to a cover of a Tempo magazine edition depicting President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as Pinocchio.
The magazine cover served as a criticism of the President ,who allowed the House of Representatives to revise and pass the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law.
With the revised law seen as weakening the antigraft body’s authority, Jokowi has come under fire for breaking his promise during the presidential election to strengthen the country’s campaign against corruption.
Jakarta Police investigators had previously brought Ananda in for questioning on Friday in relation to student protests that had taken place in the capital last week. He was the initiator of a crowdfunding campaign to support university students voicing their aspirations.
The police eventually released Ananda after around six hours of questioning without pressing any charges. After he was released, Ananda told journalists that a number of university students “were being processed unethically and without legal assistance.”
The students were detained after protests in front of the House’s compound on Sept. 24 turned into clashes, in which the police were accused of using excessive force against protesters and journalists covering the incident.
The police responded by making plans to send a legal notice within two days to allow Ananda to clarify his statement to the press, said the police’s high-ranking officer, Adj. Comr. Rovan Richard Mahenu, on Monday.
Ananda started a crowdfunding campaign on Sept. 22 on kitabisa.com to raise money to support protests held by university students. The campaign garnered more than Rp 170 million (US$11,978) in donations by Sept. 27, far exceeding its target of Rp 50 million.
He went on to say on Tuesday that he could not manage the remaining money he had raised in the campaign to support the student protests due to his current legal condition.
“We still have around Rp 40 or 50 million right now. There will be a special team comprising people who have integrity tasked to manage the money,” Ananda said.
He added that the money would only be used to support similar student protests against controversial bills, which were currently pending at the House, across the country. (kuk)