Foreign governments are warning citizens in Indonesia to stay away from central Jakarta ahead of a huge rally against the capital’s minority Christian governor.
The United States, Japan and Australia issued advisories highlighting the possibility of Friday’s protest turning violent or the risk extremists could stage an attack.
A related protest on November 4 drew more than 100,000 people demanding the arrest of Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who is being prosecuted for blasphemy, a criminal offence in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
After nightfall, hard-liners clashed with police, with one death and dozens injured.
Security plans call for a heavy police and military presence and organisers have agreed to concentrate the rally around the national monument in the city to limit disruption.
Labour unions demanding wage hikes are also expected to join the protest, which police say should disperse in the early afternoon following Friday prayers.
Japan’s foreign ministry said the rally could become a “rampage” and warned Japanese in Indonesia to stay away from Istiqlal Mosque, City Hall, the presidential palace and national monument, all of which are in close proximity.
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