The two trucks that were stolen. Photo: Youtube.

A group of 10 suspects who allegedly hijacked two tanker trucks belonging to an Indonesian state-owned energy company have been detained and questioned.

The trucks were taken to a protest staged by workers who had been laid off by the state-owned energy company PT Pertamina, The Jakarta Post reported. The 10 suspects were later found to be members of the Tanker Drivers Union (SPAMT.)

Authorities came under criticism from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) for arresting the union members, and claims were made that police hindered LBH lawyers who represented the workers.

The LBH issued a statement on March 19 stating that police officers visited the union post in Plumpang, North Jakarta on March 18. After claiming that they would help the workers resolve their issues, they asked union leader Wuryatmo and nine others to accompany them to police headquarters in North Jakarta.

Since then, the 10 have not been allowed to meet their lawyers despite their rights to legal representation. LBH Jakarta said this could spread fear among workers who are fighting for their rights.

Aris Wiyono, a member on the council board of SPAMT admitted that some protesters had taken control of two tanker trucks on the morning of March 18, but denied claims of the action being planned. He claimed that it was done to gain the attention of Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

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