Photo Essays | Politics | Southeast Asia

6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

A mass protest against Indonesia’s presidential poll result turned violent – and deadly.

By Agoes Rudianto for
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

The protesters go head-to-head with police officers.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

A police officer applies toothpaste to his face to avoid pain from tear gas.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Massed protesters throw various items such as stones, sticks, and glass in the direction of police officers.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Protesters destroyed public facilities, like this green iron barrier serving as a road divider.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Teenagers gather stones that will be thrown at police officers.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

A boy throws rocks at police.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

A helicopter carries a water bucket to extinguish the fire started by protesters.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Police officers moving the trash boxes that had previously been used by protesters to shelter during the riots.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Muslims cleric chant slogans during the march to protest “cheating” in the presidential election.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

An ambulance carrying the victims of the riots passes near the police on guard.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Some local residents watch the riots from a multistory building.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

The bus window had its glass cracked by debris thrown by protesters.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Firecrackers explode in front of the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) office as rows of police look on.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Police fire tear gas at protesters.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Water cannons try to extinguish fires set by protesters.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

This police bus was burned during the rioting.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto
6 Dead in Indonesia Post-Election Protest

Cleaners collect debris near a row of cars that were burned by the rioters.

Credit: Agoes Rudianto

On May 21, the final count in Indonesia’s election was released, showing that incumbent President Joko Widodo won with a 10 percentage point lead. But his opponent, former General Prabowo Subianto, claims there was “massive cheating and widespread fraud,” and his supporters are calling for a “people power” movement to dispute the official results.

Thousands of people gathered to protest the results in front of the Elections Supervisory Agency  (Bawaslu) office and several areas in Central Jakarta. The political opposition called for two days of mass protest.

The protest soon turned violent, as people threw stones at police officers decked out in riot gear. Some protesters burned car tires, filling the air with black smoke. Using a water bomb from a helicopter, the police tried to extinguish the fire and disperse the crowd. At another area, the mob stormed the police housing complex and set fire to a number of vehicles. Police used water cannons and tear gas to try to disperse the rioters.

As of Wednesday evening, authorities said they had the situation under control. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that six people had died, and more than 200 others were injured due to riot. The cause of the deaths is being investigated by authorities.

Agoes Rudianto is a Jakarta-based independent photographer.