Fri, 03 Dec 1999

Australian held for violating visa

JAKARTA (JP): Police intelligence officers are questioning an Australian national over his participation in a number of street protests here, city police spokesman Lt. Col. Zainuri Lubis said on Tuesday.

By participating in the rallies on labor and political issues, the suspect, identified as Christopher, violated existing immigration regulations, he said.

"Christopher came here on a tourist visa, but he was here to take part in street protests. He'll be charged under Article 50 of Law No. 9/1992 on immigration regulations," Zainuri said.

If found guilty of violating the article, the suspect could be deported and banned from the country for a year.

The latest rally Christopher took part in was last Tuesday's labor protest at the House of Representatives in Central Jakarta, the officer said.

The protest was organized by the Federation of All-Indonesian Workers Union of Reform.

"This is his second trip to Indonesia. His first was on April 6 this year," Zainuri said.

The suspect also was seen playing an active role in a number of other protests, including one organized by the Democratic People's Party (PRD) outside Cipinang Penitentiary in East Jakarta, an International Labor Organization protest at the United Nations building on Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta and a protest in front of the Presidential Palace on Jl. Medan Merdeka in Central Jakarta.

"His passport also states that his status is that of a student and that he belongs to a non-governmental organization in Australia called ASIET.

"He is currently under the supervision of the police's Foreigner Control unit. He will soon be transferred to the immigration office in Kalideres, West Jakarta, to be held in quarantine," Zainuri said.

The officer also said that any Indonesians who gave shelter to the suspect should immediately report to the police. (ylt)