Singapore, Indonesia embassies say political group supporters not detained here

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has refuted claims by supporters of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama grouped under Teman Ahok ( Friends of Ahok ) that two of its fellow supporters were detained by the Singaporean official during their visit to the country on Saturday.

The claim, which went viral through social media and media outlets on Saturday, said two Teman Ahok supporters, Amalia Ayuningtyas and Richard Handris Saerang, were detained after arriving in the neighbouring country on Saturday.

Teman Ahok coordinator Aditya Yogi Prabowo said that " the Indonesian embassy was unable to meet with them". He warned Singaporean authorities to release the supporters, otherwise Teman Ahok would use "all of its resources" to swarm the detainment centre.

However, in a press statement, the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore said it was aware of the case and that the two Indonesian citizens were merely interviewed by Singaporean authorities in relation to their activities in the country.

"The Indonesian Embassy coordinated with the Singaporean authorities to help them get on their flight on June 4. But due to technical issues, they were unable to depart for Jakarta on their Garuda Indonesia flight, so we secured seats for them on Garuda's first flight on June 5," the embassy stated on Sunday.

The embassy underlined that the Singaporean immigration office accommodated the Teman Ahok supporters with proper facilities and services while waiting for their flight.

"The supporters were not detained, as rumored on social media," the statement said, highlighting that Singaporean law prohibited foreign political activity in the country, and that this rule should be respected.

Meanwhile, the Singaporean embassy in Indonesia said the two members of 'Teman Ahok' were not detained. They were denied entry into Singapore because their visit was to conduct political activities including raising campaign funds.

STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN JAKARTA In response to media queries on the alleged detention of ‘Teman Ahok’ members...

Posted by Singapore Embassy in Jakarta on Saturday, 4 June 2016

"They were aware that they were not allowed to conduct any political activities in Singapore but nevertheless still decided to travel to Singapore. They have left Singapore in the morning of 5 June. The Indonesian Embassy was kept informed of this matter and allowed consular access to the two activists," said the embassy in the statement.

Alhamdulillah dua pendiri Teman Ahok, Amalia Ayuningtyas dan Richard Saerang telah mendarat pukul 10.40 tadi di bandara...

Posted by Teman Ahok on Saturday, 4 June 2016