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Indonesia corruption row flares

By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Jakarta

Anti police demo, Jakarta, to support anti corruption commission, 2 Nov 09
Arrest have hit the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK.

There have been anti-police protests in Jakarta after the Indonesian police detained two top officials from a powerful anti-corruption agency.

Human rights groups say the anti-corruption commission, known by its local acronym KPK, has become a target of the police.

They said this was because it has been so successful in investigating and charging corrupt officials.

Indonesia is often ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Indonesian media is calling it the war of the lizard versus the crocodile - a local take on the David and Goliath story.

Dozens of activists gathered outside the headquarters of Indonesia's police force in Jakarta, protesting against the detention of two of the country's top anti-corruption officials.

Facebook campaign

Public outrage over the arrests is mounting, with many people saying they are a way for the police to weaken the powerful anti-corruption commission.

But the police say the two officials are suspects in a bribery case and need to be investigated.

The KPK has made many enemies because it has developed a reputation of going after corrupt officials - including those in the police force.

Support for the agency is growing quickly with hundreds of thousands of Indonesians joining a Facebook site demanding the release of the two officials.

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is under pressure to come up with a solution to this growing problem.

One of his promises during his campaign for re-election earlier this year was to clamp down on corruption.

How this case is handled will be seen as a test of his commitment.



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