IO, Jakarta – The public is again outraged with the news that 16 protesters who gathered before the Election Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilu – “Bawaslu”) on Saturday (10/05/2019) were poisoned after they had concluded their protests, demanding Bawaslu to stop the Election Commission’s Vote Counting Information System (Sistem Informasi Penghitungan Suara Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “Situng KPU”) process. These protesters were rushed immediately to Cipto Mangunkusumo Central Hospital (Rumah Sakit Cipto Mangunkusumo – “RSCM”) when they became sick and vomited after eating cakes handed out by persons unknown for breaking the fast. “Sixteen people became sick and started to vomit one by one, then they were taken directly to RSCM,” said Ustadz Bernard Abdul Jabbar.
Bernard obtained this information from people who remained on site after the protest ended at 15.30 p.m. WIB in order to wait for the moment of ifthar or breaking the fast. “According to the reports we received from the people on site, they had stomach aches and vomited after consuming food from a red case that was deliberately left for their consumption. We found this evidence on site. The people who left the case were already gone when we attempted to question them,” he said.
However, Bernard is still unable to ascertain the cause why these protesters became sick and vomited and had to be hospitalized. He stated that his team is collecting evidence before they report to the police. “We still have not obtained the investigation results. We don’t know if it’s deliberately brought in or not, if the food just happens to be expired, or whether it is mixed with certain substances. We are still not sure,” he said when asked about reporting to the police. “But we are investigating and we will know something shortly. We will first get information from the team assigned to collect existing evidence, including the food that the victims ate.”
The poisoned protesters are from among the mass demonstrating in front of Bawaslu Building, as stated by the Chairwoman of Working Party’s Guidance Council and also a campaigner of Prabowo-Sandi, Siti Hediati Harijadi “Titiek” Soeharto. As stated in her personal Twitter account, @TitiekSoeharto, she visited RSCM in early morning 11 May 2019 to check on the Prabowo-Sandiaga supporters who are said to have suffered from food poisoning after protesting at Bawaslu Office on Friday. “They ate some cakes delivered in a red case by persons unknown.”
Titiek included four photos in her Tweet: two photos of herself with female patients who were receiving IV medication at the RSCM; one photo of the red case, and one photo of the cake wrapped in a clear plastic bag that is suspected of containing poison. “Astaghfirullah (may Allah forgive us), how could anyone be cruel enough to poison somebody during the holy month of Ramadhan?! This is too much!” the Twitter said.
RSCM’s Public Relations Coordinator, Yani, confirmed the presence of food poisoning patients on Friday night. It is unclear whether the complaint of food poisoning has been referred to the police or to other pertinent parties for investigation. There is also no information about how serious the poisoning cases are, as Yani stated that only the doctor handling the case has the authority to do so.
The Police Headquarters denies the rumor that members of police intelligence sneaked in amid the protesters picketing at the Bawaslu Office on 10 May 2019 to leave poisoned cakes in the red case. The Police Criminal Investigation Division’s Directorate of Cyber Crimes will be investigating the distribution of the hoax in social media. “The facts are engineered. I have requested the Cyber Team to investigate the accounts that published this issue,” said the Head of the Public Announcement Bureau of the Police’s Public Relations Division, Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo, when we contacted him on Monday, 13 May 2019.
Earlier, there has been postings stating that a police intel officer called Azis had sneaked in amid the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno supporters who staged the protest at Bawaslu on Friday. It is said that the poisoned food in the red case that Azis left had caused a number of protesters to be taken to Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta. (Dan)