ROBERT F. KENNEDY MEMORIAL CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
August 1996 Vol. 8, No. 8 (C)
INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE NEEDED TO
In the aftermath of rioting on July 27 in Jakarta, a massive crackdown is underway by the Indonesian internal security apparatus, targeting young student activists suspected of involvement in organizations collectively branded by the army as the "new PKI" [Indonesian Communist Party]. The organizations include the Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD, People's Democratic Party) and its affiliates, including Solidaritas Mahasiswa untuk Demokrasi (SMID, Indonesian Student Solidarity for Democracy); Pusat Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia (PPBI, Center for the Struggle of Indonesian Workers) and Serikat Tani Indonesia (STI, Indonesian Peasants' Union). A labor leader of international stature, Muchtar Pakpahan has also been arrested and charged with subversion, and many of his associates have been detained briefly for questioning.
These organizations have been blamed for masterminding the riot and for using the political movement supporting opposition politician Megawati Soekarnoputri to pursue their own political agenda. The government has used the first charge, for which it has produced no evidence, to divert attention from its own role in ousting Megawati from her position as chair of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) and storming PDI headquarters while it was occupied by her supporters, the act that led to the riot in the first place. The effort to mobilize the Indonesian public against a purported communist threat from within also diverts attention from the number of dead and missing in the aftermath of the riot and the extent of popular discontent with the Soeharto government.
The report looks at the pattern of some two dozen political arrests across Java and Sumatra. Except for labor leader Muchtar Pakpahan, all of those detained as of August 15, 1996 were students in their twenties from both private and state universities. Most were well-known to the police, having been arrested before while participating in strikes, demonstrations, or other political actions.
The student activism that led to the formation of PRD and its affiliates has its roots in the suppression of all on-campus organizations after an outbreak of student protest in 1978. The national policy of control over student life that ensued led to semi-clandestine groups being formed for the purpose of studying and discussing political theory and to direct work with NGOs to help the rural and urban poor. The emergence of the PRD, a left-wing populist group, is thus a direct result of restrictions on academic freedom, particularly suppression of freedom of expression and association.
The Indonesian army, however, is trying to whip up an anti-communist frenzy around documents and statements by PRD members. The consequences are serious not only for those who face the charge of subversion, a capital offense (although death sentences are highly unlikely), but also for NGOs and known political activists more generally as well as for relations between Christians and Muslims.
Thus far, the international response to events in Indonesia seems to indicate a shift toward a perception of a weakened government-the beginning of the end, many observers call it-as President Soeharto debates whether to "run" for a seventh term. More definite responses are called for, however, including economic pressures from donor governments, and a cut-off of all international military aid to the Indonesian security forces, until the government's current abuses against the peaceful dissident movement are ended.
The army has circulated a chart (see Appendix 1) purporting to show how the PRD is controlled by the New People's Army of the Philippines (NPA, the armed wing of the communist insurgency) with backing from Amnesty International and the Australian Labor Party. It charges that Megawati let herself be used as a "Trojan horse" to bring communists back into Indonesian political life. These charges, however ludicrous, have serious consequences for those caught up in the current wave of arrests and are analyzed in detail below.
II. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
* The Indonesian government should make public immediately a list of all those detained, with the date of arrest, place of detention and status of charges against each. As of August 15, more than two weeks after the raid on PDI headquarters, the Indonesian government had failed to release such a list, and some individuals known to have been taken into custody, such as Hendrik Dikson Sirait, last seen on August 1 as he was arrested by military personnel, had become "disappeared."
* The Indonesian government should immediately release and drop all charges against those arrested solely for peaceful expression of their views or involvement in nonviolent political associations, including student activists like Garda Sembiring and Budiman Sudjatmiko and labor leaders like Muchtar Pakpahan. While the Indonesian government has a responsibility to prosecute anyone who has committed violence against individuals or property, including those who initially stormed the PDI headquarters, it must do so in accordance with Indonesian law and international fair-trial standards. All those detained should be given immediate and regular access to lawyers as mandated by the Indonesian criminal procedure code.
* The Indonesian government should cease the practice of summoning political opponents and activists for interrogation when such interrogation is used as a method of intimidating and harassing those who peacefully exercise their right to freedom of expression and association.
* Members of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI), the international donor consortium that includes Japan, the United States, members of the European Union, Canada and Australia, should cancel any planned high-level visits or trade delegations to Indonesia as a protest against the current crackdown now underway, unless those visits are exclusively designed to convey a message of protest. All state visits should be canceled. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, for example, should cancel his planned state visit to Indonesia in October. The European Parliament should call on the European Commission and on EU member states to cancel any visits to Indonesia.
* CGI governments should denounce the Indonesian government's use of the communist label and use of the anti-subversion law as a pretext for arresting and detaining critics. The United States and the European Union should consider issuing joint demarches at the highest levels in Jakarta.
* Japan gave over US$886 million in ODA to Jakarta in 1994. As Indonesia's largest single aid donor, Japan's influence is particularly important. The Japanese government should indicate it will immediately review current Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Indonesia in light of the crackdown.
* CGI governments should impose an international ban on arms exports to Indonesia, including the U.S. government's planned sale of F-16 fighter planes and any sale of the kind of armed personnel carriers used in the storming of PDI headquarters.
* CGI governments should ask the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, José Ayala Lasso, who visited Jakarta in December 1995, to call urgently on the Indonesian government to publish a list of all those detained and to release those being held solely for peaceful exercise of their rights of freedom of expression and association.
* CGI governments should also press Indonesia to invite the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to undertake an emergency visit to Indonesia at the earliest possible date.
* Given the importance of NGOs and other elements of civil society to the success of the World Bank's development activities in Indonesia, executive directors and staff of the Bank should express concern overthe wave of arrests, intimidation of activists and possible new controls on NGOs and should postpone consideration of new loans until it receives a commitment from the Indonesian government that there will be no new registration procedures or other measures that impede the ability of NGOs to function.
III. CONTEXT OF THE CRISIS
The current crisis has its roots in the June ouster of Megawati Soekarnoputri from her position as head of PDI through a so-called extraordinary party congress engineered and paid for by the government. In protest of her replacement by Soerjadi (also spelled Suryadi), the government's choice as party leader, hundreds of Megawati's supporters occupied the PDI headquarters in the center of Jakarta. During the early morning hours of July 27, an estimated 500 Indonesian police and military personnel forcibly entered those headquarters, pushed down the front gate, set fire to political banners hanging from windows of the building, and arrested at least seventy-four people.
According to eyewitnesses, the government used the notorious military-supported organization Pancasila Youth (Permuda Pancasila) to pose as pro-Soerjadi PDI members. Pancasila Youth has been used by the government in the past to unleash violence against government opponents, deflecting accountability from regular security forces.
As Megawati supporters were dragged from the building, crowds of onlookers began throwing rocks at the soldiers. Full-scale riots soon broke out in front of the headquarters and in other parts of Jakarta, the worst in the capital in more than twenty years. At least four people are confirmed dead, although unofficial estimates are much higher.
According to official figures, protesters stoned and set fire to twenty-two buildings and burned more than ninety vehicles. Government office buildings and businesses owned by President Soeharto's friends and family members were especially targeted by protesters. In the days following the riot, police and military personnel were deployed in large numbers throughout Jakarta and other cities of Java, to quell any spontaneous demonstrations. On July 30, Jakarta military commander Major General Sutiyoso announced that troops had been ordered to shoot on sight anyone attempting to "disturb order."1
While the Soeharto government blames the riots on pro-democracy organizations it labels "communist," Indonesians representing broad sectors of society acknowledge that the riots were sparked by increasing resentment over the economic disparity between rich and poor, rampant government corruption, and the Soeharto government's reluctance to respond to calls for democratic reforms. Moreover, uncertainty about the country's future has exacerbated tensions. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for 1997, followed by the "election" of the president and vice-president the following year by Indonesia's highest legislative body, the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat or MPR). It was taken for granted as late as April 1996 that the seventy-five -year-old Soeharto would be running for his seventh five-year term. After the death of his wife in April 1996 and apparent medical problems that led to his flying to Germany for an unscheduled medical examination from July 9-12, that is no longer certain.
Soeharto has no designated successor, but after the riot, the president's youngest son, Hutomo "Tommy" Mandalaputra, indicated that one may be named soon. Mandalaputra, speaking of his father's presidency, told reporters, "As a member of the family, and because we love him very much, he has been working too hard for the country for more than thirty years. . . So, hopefully there will be someone who can replace him in his position by 1998. We'll see. But whoever leads the country, I think the policy will be the same." The vice-governor of theNational Defense Institute, Juwono Sudarsono, recently implied that President Soeharto may be concerned about retaliation against him once he leaves office. According to Sudarsono, "If he [Soeharto] does step down, he wants firm guarantees that his successors will not turn on him in the way that has been happening now in South Korea where two former presidents are being impeached by the public as well as by their successor president."2
Government statements on the number of arrests are not particularly helpful, as the figures that appear in the press refer only to those detained in Jakarta and obviously do not include unacknowledged detentions. Outside Jakarta, it is clear that the crackdown is reaching into small and medium-sized towns, but no overall figures on the numbers of detainees are available. As of August 15, 124 people were in detention in the Jakarta metropolitan police headquarters (Metro Polda), most of them arrested directly in connection with the PDI raid or the subsequent riot. At least seventeen people are still missing more than two weeks after the crackdown began (See Appendix II). None of the detainees at Metro Polda have had regular access to legal counsel, and while the Indonesian authorities have released the initials of the 124, they have not made public a full list of all those detained since July 27 and the status of charges against them. An unknown number of people are thought to be detained at two military detention facilities in Jakarta: one called Guntur and the other the headquarters of Jakarta military intelligence (Intelpam Kodam V) on Kramat Lima Avenue that has been given the nickname "Kremlin" by former inmates. Neither the government-appointed National Human Rights Commission nor any nongovernmental organization (NGO) has been allowed access to those facilities. Muchtar Pakpahan, general secretary of SBSI, Indonesia's largest independent trade union, is detained in facilities run by the attorney general in the south Jakarta suburb of Kebayoran Baru. He was arrested in connection with a subversion case involving Budiman Sudjatmiko, the head of PRD, who was arrested on August 12.
Arrests have also taken place in the Javanese cities of Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Garut, Solo, Serang, and Mojokerto, and in Lampung and Riau provinces on the island of Sumatra. In many cases, those arrested have been interrogated, beaten, held overnight and sent home. When police or military officers have not been able to find the suspects in question, they have interrogated and intimidated parents and other relatives and seized books, diaries, and computer equipment that they think will lead them to their quarries.
Several activists have been banned from travel outside Indonesia. They include Budiman Sudjatmiko, head of PRD; Muchtar Pakpahan; SMID activist Garda Sembiring; Aryana; Eddy Genbluh; and journalist Yopie Lasut.
Most of those detained in the Jakarta metropolitan police headquarters in connection with the July 27 riot are held under suspicion of violating either Article 170 (use of violence against individuals or property) or Article 351 (assault) of the Indonesian criminal code, but as the crackdown proceeds and students are brought to Jakarta from other areas of Java, the number of those being held on political charges is rising rapidly.
The Indonesian army got its most wanted man, Budiman Sudjatmiko, the twenty-seven-year-old head of PRD, in a raid on the house of another man named Benny S. in Bekasi, West Java on August 11. Also arrested in the raid, in addition to Benny, were the secretary-general of PRD, Petrus Hariyanto, Suroso, and Josep Kurniawan. It was not clear as of August 12 where they were detained. Budiman and Petrus are expected to be charged with subversion.
Another raid early on August 12 in Depok, near the campus of the University of Indonesia, netted the head of SMID Garda Sembiring (see below under Bogor); the secretary-general of PPBI, Ignatius Pranowo, and three other activists, Victor da Costa, Ignatius Putut Arintoko and Ken Muda Kusumadaru.
Hendrik Dicson Sirait, a student at National University in Jakarta and an activist in the Pijar Foundation, an NGO, was arrested on August 1 after he attended a hearing in the lawsuit that Megawati Soekarnoputri is bringing in the central Jakarta district court against the man who succeeded her as head of the Indonesian Democratic Party in a manipulated party congress in June 1996. Witnesses saw Sirait apprehended by nine men, seven in army uniforms and two in civilian clothes, as he was waiting for a bus outside the court. Bakorstanas, the internal security agency, has denied any knowledge of Sirait's whereabouts, and human rights lawyers have been unable to find him. Hendrik Sirait had previously served ten months in prison, from December 1993 to October 1994, for "insulting the President" during a demonstration in the national parliament building organized by the Indonesian Student Action Front (Front Aksi Mahasiswa Indonesia or FAMI) on December 14, 1993. At the time, the students called on President Soeharto to be brought before a special session of Indonesia's highest legislative body, the People's Consultative Assembly, and tried for various crimes.
Muchtar Pakpahan, general secretary of the Prosperous Workers Union of Indonesia (Serikat Buruh Sejahtera Indonesia or SBSI) and head of the Indonesian People's Council (Majelis Rakyat Indonesia or MARI, a coalition of some thirty NGOs and various community organizations), was arrested at his home in east Jakarta at 11:30 p.m. on July 30 by prosecutors from the attorney general's office. The warrant noted that he was being arrested in connection with a subversion case involving Budiman Sudjatmiko. Three days later, he himself was charged with subversion. Pakpahan, probably Indonesia's best-known labor activist, had given a speech at the "open forum" in front of PDI headquarters -a platform for speeches critical of the government-a few days before the July 27 riot, and on the day of the riot itself, he issued a statement in which he asserted that the Indonesian government had hired thugs to attack the PDI headquarters (See Appendix III). He has also been a participant in several pro-democracy fora in Jakarta. On the day he was arrested, Pakpahan had been summoned by the Center for Intelligence Operations of the Supreme Court to explain the activities of MARI. He remains detained in Kebayoran.
According to Pakpahan's lawyers, the attorney general questioned him about his July 27 statement. Pakpahan has also been questioned about NGOs, including MARI, and about PRD and its affiliates. In 1994, Pakpahan was convicted of "inciting riots" for activities related to a demonstration involving some 15,000 workers in Medan, North Sumatra that turned violent. While Pakpahan was subsequently exonerated by the Supreme Court and released in 1995, a judicial review of that decision is still pending.
Syafei Kadarisman, a consumer activist, Hasanudin and Agustiana were detained after the riot in south Jakarta at the office of an NGO called Serikat Pendamping Rakyat. They were then brought to Jakarta police headquarters where they remained in detention as of August 9.
Amsar, a student activist from Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia (PMII, Indonesian Islamic Student Movement), is being held at police headquarters charged under Article 170 but as of August 10, neither his family nor lawyers had been able to see him since his detention, raising fears that he had been tortured.
Bogor, West Java
On August 2, a joint military and police team raided the home of Garda Sembiring, twenty-five, a law student at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta and head of the Jakarta-Bogor-Tanggerang-Bekasi branch of SMID. When they could not find Garda, they arrested his mother, Mrs. B.Veronica Sembiring, and took her to the Bogor police station for interrogation. Her son had been arrested several times before in connection with SMID activities, the last time after a rally on June 18-19 in front of the Indonesian parliament that involved some 5,000 workers of PT Indo Shoes. (The rally was both a protest of exploitation by Adidas, one of the brands produced by the workers, and ashow of support for Megawati.) On August 4, Garda's name was put on the Indonesian immigration blacklist, which prohibits him from traveling outside Indonesia.
On August 3, a joint military-police team raided the house of SMID activist Munif Laredo's brother. Munif had been staying there but managed to escape; the military team searched the house and took away books, pamphlets, and other publications. Munif, twenty-nine, is a philosophy student at Gajah Mada.
On August 5, the parents of Budiman Sujatmiko, head of PRD, were brought to the Center for Intelligence Operations of the attorney general's office, and before dozens of print and broadcast media, urged their son to give himself up. The parents, who live in Cilebut, Bogor, clearly made the appeal under duress. They said that they had last seen their son on July 28, the day after the Jakarta riot, when he stopped at their house with a friend whom they did not know. Budiman is a Gajah Mada University drop-out who had studied economics. Lieutenant General Syarwan Hamid told the press that there were "indications" that Budiman's father was a former member of the PKI.
Semarang, Central Java
On July 29, a group of thugs from Pemuda Pancasila attacked the home of the parents of a student activist named Yanti, head of the Semarang branch of SMID. In the attack, windows and roof tiles were smashed. At the time, Yanti, who was also involved in KIPP, the election monitoring organization and the pro-Megawati movement, was attending a community service program at Diponegoro University where she is majoring in mass communication.
On August 2, Fahmi, a student from Diponegoro University in Semarang, was reported arrested and as of August 12 was still being held in the Semarang police station for investigation.
Yogyakarta, Central Java
Of fourteen people taken into custody for interrogation in Yogyakarta, eleven have been released, some after having been tortured and forced to sign statements. The district military command (KODIM) arrested without warrant six students from the Islamic University of Indonesia at their rented lodgings at 12:30 a.m. on August 1. The students, Suyoko Jati Nugroho, Achmad Imam Ghozali, Toni Permana, Nurhana, Erwin, and Amran, were released after twenty-four hours. All were suspected, wrongly, of involvement with the PRD. They had, however, been active, in a university student association (Serikat Mahasiswa Universitas Islam Indonesia) which had sponsored demonstrations in support of Megawati Soekarnoputri. All except Toni Permana are students at the law faculty of UII; Toni is a student in the Technology Faculty.
On August 2, police arrested five more students without warrant during a demonstration at Gajah Mada University; all were accused of being members of PRD. Mohammad Ali, a student at the Islamic University of Indonesia; Wisnu Agung of Atmajaya University in Jakarta; and Hary Kurniawan, Eko Orastowo and Johanes Librayanto, all of the law faculty of Janabadra University, were taken to the Yogyakarta police command and held overnight. When they were released, they had cuts and bruises on their faces, missing teeth and bloodstains on their clothes, according to a lawyer from the Legal Aid Institute office in Yogyakarta, who said they were tortured into signing a confession that they were members of PRD.
On August 5, three people were arrested in the army's effort by the army to track down the Yogyakarta leadership of the PRD. According to the August 7 edition of Bernas, a Yogyakarta magazine, and other sources, soldiers arrested Sunarman Purosaputro, owner of a printing house in Yogyakarta who had been detained as a suspected PKI member after an attempted coup in 1965; according to a spokesman for the regional military command, Sunarman's identity card carries the initials "E.T." for ex-tapol or former political detainee, a phrase that refers only to those accused of supporting the PKI. The other two arrested were Patriatno, the owner of a flower shop, and a man named Titin. The three were apparently picked up because their names and addresses were found in the diary of Petrus Haryanto, the secretary-general of PRD-Yogyakarta, who is the object of a manhunt. The armyspokesman said five others were being sought for suspected involvement in PRD activities because their names were also mentioned in Haryanto's diary.
On August 6, Subarni Budi Kasih, twenty-one, a history student and SMID activist from Gajah Mada University, was arrested at her rented lodgings. Like many of her detained colleagues, she had been arrested several times before, including on December 7, 1995, when she took part in the occupation of the Dutch embassy in Jakarta to protest the Indonesian occupation of East Timor. She had also been involved in demonstrations in 1994 against the closure of the Indonesian magazine Tempo and two other publications.
Dr. Prihadi Beny Waluyo, a lecturer at Duta Wacana Christian University, was arrested by the soldiers of the district military command at his house and accused of distributing e-mail messages. He was accused of sending one message in particular, titled "Safeguard the People's Efforts for Democracy," and several others relating to the July 27 riots, to a destination in Holland. He was interrogated by the military about his connections with the PRD, and while he denied any involvement, he did admit to circulating news via the Internet. He was sent home after interrogation and required to report to the district military command on a regular basis. He is under strict surveillance. The military apparently learned of his activities after an officer found eleven copies of a print-out from the Internet from someone who said he had got them from a store in Kebumen (a district of Yogyakarta).
Solo (Surakarta), Central Java
Budi Pratomo, twenty-six, from Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS) and Syamsul Bachri, twenty-four, an economics student from Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS), are being held in Jakarta on suspicion of subversion, insulting the president, spreading hatred, and insulting state authorities in public (Presidential Decree 11/1963 and Articles 134, 154 and 207 respectively). Both men are members of SMID and had taken part in the "open forum" at PDI headquarters in Jakarta while the latter was occupied by supporters of Megawati Soekarnoputri. Budi was arrested as his lodgings, Syamsul while taking part in a community service program in Grobogan district, Central Java. Both are currently detained at the Jakarta metropolitan police headquarters. Agus Sukarmanto, another student from Universitas Sebelas Maret, was reported to have been arrested in Semarang on August 2 and later taken to Jakarta. Didit Sutopo, twenty-three, a history student at Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS), was arrested on August 5 at his lodgings on suspicion of subversion. He had been involved in the Sritex strike on December 11, 1995 and other demonstrations.
Eko Sulistyo, a PRD activist and head of the Solo branch of KIPP, the election-monitoring organization, turned himself in to Solo police on August 12, accompanied by lawyers from the Indonesian Bar Association.
Nyona Sipon, the wife of artist Wiji Thukul, head of a PRD affiliate called the Network for People's Art, was taken to Solo police station for questioning, but is not believed to be detained.
Surabaya, East Java
Three activists from SMID were detained during the week of August 5, but a Bakorstanas spokesman refused to say when or where they had been arrested. Zaenal Abidin, twenty-four, a political science student at Wijaya Kusuma University, was arrested at his home. He had been involved in actions on behalf of the villagers of Singosari, East Java, whose lives were disrupted by the installation of high-voltage power lines crossing over their homes and in the July 8, 1996 industrial action in Tandes, Surbaya, where he was so severely beaten by security forces that he had to have seven stitches in his head. Lisa "Icha" Febrianti, twenty-three, a political science student at Airlangga University and secretary of SMID-Surabaya, was also a veteran of student demonstrations and had been arrested in the workers' rally on July 8. Trio Johanes Muliate Marpaung, twenty-three, a student at Airlangga University, was also an officer of SMID-Surabaya and was involved in the action on July 8. Charges against the three SMID activists have not been announced. Meanwhile, the commander of the East Java division of the army was urging all SMID and PRD members to turn themselves in, according to an article in the August 7 edition of the newspaper Republika.
The three join thirteen others who have been detained in Surabaya since a major confrontation there on July 8 and 9 between the army and workers identified with PRD. Of the thirteen, three are activists who were involved in organizing the workers: Dita Indah Sari, twenty-four, head of the PPBI (a labor affiliate of PRD), Coen Husein Ponto, twenty-six, of the STN (the peasant affiliate of PRD), and Mohamed Sholeh, head of SMID-Surabaya, have all have been charged with incitement to violence under Article 160 of the criminal code. After July 27, they were moved into isolation cells. Dita Sari's visits to Australia led to an absurd accusation by Lt. Gen. Syarwan Hamid, chief of the military's social and political affairs bureau, that the Australian Labor Party was backing the PRD. In fact, she was invited once in 1994 by the Western Australia Trade and Labor Council in Perth to attend a meeting of labor activists in the Asia-Pacific region, and her travel expenses were covered by the council. She returned on March 8, 1995 when she was invited by the Australian Women's Collective to take part in the commemoration of International Women's Day.
Mojokerto, East Java
Diki Prabowo, a student at the Institute of Development Technology, was arrested on August 14 at his family's house in Sooko, Mojokerto, on suspicion of PRD activities. Soldiers from the regional military (Korem 082) confiscated books that their commander, Col. Suwaluyo, described as "political books published abroad of a liberal and leftist bent." Diki, who took part in the workers' demonstration in Surabaya on July 8, is suspected of being head of a security section of PRD. He is also a SMID activist. After his arrest, he was taken to Surabaya for investigation. The commander said he expected to make other arrests in the Mojokerto area.
Jombang, East Java
Wahyu Wijanarko, a student from Jombang, was arrested in the town of Nganjuk on August 13 while he was doing community service as part of a university program. The officers who arrested him, from the region command based in Madiun and the district command based in Nganjuk, said they were carrying out orders from their superiors when they arrested him. It turned out, however, that he had no connection with PRD and he was released a day later.
Malang, East Java
On August 8, Rizal, twenty, and Wisnu Ranta Hadi, both of the Muhammadiyah University in Malang, were arrested by East Java internal security forces (Bakorstanas).
Medan, North Sumatra
Six students were arrested in Medan at 9:00 p.m. from one lodging house, reportedly after police went around asking where pro-democracy activists lived. None of the six is known to be linked to PRD or SMID. They include Abadi Halawa, Morgan Sinaga and Ganda Manurung, all students of the University of North Sumatra; Aledon Nainggolan of the Catholic University of Medan; Freddy Manurung of St. Thomas Catholic University; and Ronald Naibaho of Nommensen University. All were taken to a notorious military detention facility called Gaperta, run by the regional military command and were later reported to be detained at Medan police headquarters as of August 12.
V. THE PRD AND ITS AFFILIATES
Most of those arrested thus far or wanted for questioning on suspicion of being members of PRD or its affiliates are well-known to the police and army for their involvement in student demonstrations and political protests over the last two years. Ironically, the revival of student activism since the late 1980s, much of it aimed at championing social justice for the poor, has been seen as one of the signs of greater openness in Indonesia, even as it has also been an indication of discontent and frustration with the Soeharto government.
But the revival was not due to any easing of government controls on campus activities. Rather, the emergence of "radical populism" among Indonesian students was a direct result of the lack of any authorized venue for discussions of political and social issues.3 The last sustained period of student protest in 1977-78 led to the publication of several sharp critiques of the Soeharto government and arrests of the students who wrote them. In response to the protests, the then Minister of Education effectively closed the door on any freedom of expression, assembly, or association on campus through a program called "Normalization of Campus Life" (Normalisasi Kehidupan Kampus or NKK). Student councils ceased to function, campus newspapers were heavily censored, public meetings on current events were banned. Throughout the 1980s, some of the brightest students in Indonesian universities formed off-campus discussion clubs where they read and debated political and social theories --Marxism, dependency theory and liberation theology, among others-that both explained and offered solutions to social injustice and had the added attraction of being banned topics in Indonesia. The first arrests of students associated with such a study club took place in 1988 when three members of the Palagan Study Club in Yogyakarta were arrested and sentenced on subversion charges to prison terms ranging from seven to eight and a half years.4
Those arrests helped galvanize the student movement, particularly in Yogyakarta, whose plethora of colleges and universities facilitated inter-campus organizing. By 1989, the Yogyakarta Students Communication Forum (Forum Komunikasi Mahasiswa Yogyakarta) had been formed from over 1,000 students on twenty-eight different campuses in and around the city, and it became a model for similar fora in other cities.5 Students began to join forces with NGOs to defend the interests of peasants evicted from their land for development or commercial purposes and workers deprived of the right to organize. Yogyakarta students were particularly active in the early 1990s in support of families displaced or about to be displaced by the World Bank-funded Kedung Ombo dam; Surabaya students were out in the streets en masse in 1993 to protest the death of Marsinah, a young woman labor activist, and to raise worker rights issues. Communications technology-mobile phones, fax machines, and electronic mail-helped facilitate intercity organizing, and by late 1993, it was common to have demonstrations involving students from throughout Java, if not farther afield.
Such demonstrations were almost always broken up by the police or military and the leaders arrested. However, the fact that they continued, and indeed, increased in size and frequency, was attributed by many, including the students themselves, to tacit support from some members of the military who were not unhappy either with the anti-Soeharto themes of many of the protests or with the sense that mass street actions conveyed that the president was losing his grip. (The growth of the student movement coincided with the emergence into the open of a split between Soeharto and the military in the dispute over selection of the vice-president in 1988.)6
It was in this context that PRD and its affiliates emerged, born of the absence of academic freedom, immersion in political theory, exposure to the plight of the poor, a sophisticated communications network, and political space opened up by divisions within the ruling elite.
Evolution of the PRD
It was only in April 1996 that the separate mass organizations that are now considered part of PRD formally affiliated with it as a party. Before that, the linkages were much looser. The first to be organized was the peasants' union, Serikat Tani Indonesia or STI, which was organized on November 13, 1993 in Yogyakarta with the purpose of providing political education and organizational assistance to peasants. Most of its initial work was on Java, in the land disputes in Ngawai and Blangguan (East Java). Because the now-detained Coen Hussein Ponto, who became its head, was from North Sulawesi, however, STI helped publicize land disputes there as well.
Persatuan Rakyat Demokratik (PRD, or People's Democratic Alliance) was the next organization to be formed, on May 2, 1994. It was led by Sugeng Bahagijo, a philosophy student at Gajah Mada University, but within a year, he had been eased out by colleagues who considered him insufficiently radical. He was replaced by Budiman Sudjatmiko, the Gajah Mada drop-out committed, in his own words, to "populist social democracy."7 The PRD formally became the People's Democratic Party, instead of Alliance, on April 15, 1996 in a party congress in Yogyakarta. Budiman, No.1 on Indonesia's most-wanted list and now in detention, was elected chair, with Petrus Hariyanto, also detained, as secretary-general. The slogan of the party is "One opposition, one change, new party, new president." In a July 22, 1996 manifesto, the party called for a rise in the minimum wage to Rp.7,000, a referendum for East Timor, support for Megawati Soekarnoputri as an alternative candidate for president, and monitoring of the 1997 parliamentary elections. It also called for the repeal of the "package" of five 1985 laws that authorize Indonesian government control over political parties, social organizations, elections and local government.
The PRD was followed by SMID, which had its organizing conference in Cisarua, West Java, on August l and 2, 1994, with about 120 people attending from Jakarta, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Salatiga, Surabaya and Menado. A declaration issued at the end of the congress called for a fight against what it called the totalitarianism and fascism of the New Order government; an end to the capitalist strategy of development; academic freedom and an end to militarism on campus; a democratic trade union movement; basic human rights, including freedom of expression and association; a multiparty political system; abolition of the "dual function" of the military; and an end to economic monopolies. The language was strident, but nowhere in the document was there any suggestion that the students envisioned anything but peaceful means to achieve their aims.
PPBI, the labor organization, was established in Ambarawa, Central Java, on October 23, 1994. Its three main demands are an increase in the minimum wage to Rp.7,000, freedom of association, and an end to military intervention in labor disputes. Its members have been prominent participants in most of the major strikes that have taken place on Java since early 1995.
Finally, the Network for People's Art (Jaringan Kesenian Rakyat or JAKER) was formed in early 1995, led by Wiji Thukul, a blind artist from Solo.
As noted, all of the above organizations decided to come together under the PRD umbrella in April 1996 and to work for democratic change in alliance with other NGOs, student groups and "people's organizations." Among others, these include the coalition called Majelis Rakyat Indonesia (MARI, Indonesian People's Council) led by Muchtar Pakpahan, and a freedom of expression organization called Solidaritias Indonesia untuk Pembebasan Pers (SIUPP, an acronym that is the same as that for the license that publications have to obtain from the Ministry of Information).
In 1995 and 1996, as PRD, SMID and PPBI have emerged as prominent elements of the pro-democracy movement, street protests have become larger, more frequent, better organized, less focused exclusively on the grievances of specific groups of workers or peasants (although those grievances are still forcefully raised), and more explicit about demanding political change at the top. A partial list of actions they have helped organize over the last eighteen months is attached as Appendix IV.
Equating the PRD with Communism
Top Indonesian leaders have asserted that the PRD and its affiliates are communist or "communist-like" and President Soeharto himself told a cabinet meeting on August 7 that the PRD had conducted activities "which had the characteristics of an insurgency."8 In the Indonesian context, the charge is a serious one for three reasons. It means that the students under arrest who had leadership roles in those organizations will almost certainly be charged with subversion, whether or not the government can prove its original charge that PRD was behind the July 27 riots. (Subversion carries a maximum penalty of death, but the students are more likely to get lengthy terms in prison.) It means that the crackdown in one way or another is likely to extend to NGOs and other groups that form Indonesia's pro-democracy movement, leading to major setbacks for freedom of expression and association in Indonesia. And it is leading the government to heighten religious tensions as it seeks the support of Muslim organizations to second its calls to crush the new communism.
The Soeharto government's legitimacy is based on its annihilation of the old Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia or PKI) following an attempted coup in September 1965. The army blamed the coup attempt and the murder of six army generals the night before on the PKI, although an objective history remains to be written. In the wake of what the government calls the "September 30 Movement," known by its Indonesian acronym GESTAPU, the army set about encouraging the slaughter of suspected members of the PKI, then the largest Communist party outside China and the Soviet Union. Estimates of the number killed go up to half a million, and more than one million people were detained over the next several years. The accusation of having "PKI" or "extreme left" sympathies or connections has been used ever since to threaten opponents of the government, deny people jobs and destroy their careers, force farmers into turning over their land, or coerce confessions.
Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, senior Indonesian army officers continued to maintain that there was a "latent danger" of communism and that Indonesians had to be vigilant. In late 1995, the army chief of staff, General Soeyono, began warning of the danger of "formless organizations"-organisasi tanpa bentuk or OTB-that used communist tactics to infiltrate other organizations. As late as May 1996, the army tried to discredit the head of a newly formed election monitoring organization by saying he had been a member of a communist youth group as a teenager in the 1960s. The charges against the PRD, however, are the first time in a very long time that the Soeharto government has tried to use the fear of communism as a mobilizing tactic to rally disparate groups, as if the PRD constituted a genuine threat or the government was so vulnerable that a unifying fervor was needed to prop it up.
The PRD, to the extent it has a definable political core, is clearly left of center, committed to mass action and struggle against a repressive government apparatus. It has also made effective use of student activists to tap into a wellspring of discontent with the Soeharto government on the part of the urban and rural poor. Those factors do not, however, make it either communist or subversive. The army's arguments, which many in the Indonesian political elite do not find persuasive, that the PRD is simply the PKI in a new guise are based on the following "evidence" (those advancing the evidence are named in parentheses):
* Article 3 of the July 22, 1996 manifesto of PRD stated that the PRD was a party of "a progressive and revolutionary character." (Armed Forces Social and Political Affairs Chief Lt. Gen. Syarwan Hamid)
* PRD and its affiliates have the same structure as the PKI with affiliates for workers, peasants, students and artists. (Gen. Feisal Tanjung, commander of the armed forces) When this argument was pointed out to a leader of SMID who has gone underground, he replied, "We didn't borrow from the PKI, we learned from Golkar [the government party]-it started out as a loose organization and then became a party. And Golkar has its organizations for peasants, workers, and youth."
* A former member of the PKI Central Committee, just released after more than two decades in prison, attended a mass action in Solo. (Syarwan Hamid)
* "It's clear from their methods [that the PRD is PKI-inspired]: they twist and distort facts." (Feisal Tanjung)
* "[Members of the PRD] want the commander of the armed forces and the chief of staff to take responsibility for any act involving the military... and demand accountability from the commander-in-chief. Who's that? Pak Harto [President Soeharto]. They make the same demands for the state and government. All responsibility ends up with Pak Harto. So it's clear what they're after. What else is this besides rebellion?" (Lieutenant General Soeyono, armed forces chief of staff)
* They do not consider East Timor part of Indonesia, they are not registered with the Ministry of the Interior as a nongovernmental or mass organization, and they sent sixty of their members to the Philippines to study "People Power." (Syarwan Hamid)
* PRD had a "Revolution Fund" to finance its activities. (Syarwan Hamid)
If this is its evidence for subversion or communism, the government has an extraordinarily weak case. Still, its efforts to use the specter of a revived PKI have triggered a response from dozens of organizations wishing to demonstrate their loyalty to the government. Many of these are either Islamic groups, traditionally strongly opposed to the radical left, or organizations linked to Golkar. Their statements were not entirely spontaneous: on July 30, three days after the riot, the Ministry of the Interior hosted a meeting for seventy-eight "mass organizations" at which Lt. Gen. Syarwan Hamid laid out some of the arguments against the PRD, above. (He had done the same a week before the storming of the PDI headquarters and obtained a statement from sixty-one such organizations urging the government to act against Megawati supporters.)
After the July 30 meeting, one organization said that it stood ready to confront any opposition to the New Order Government. Another said all perpetrators of the July 27 riot should be charged with subversion.9 A Golkar-affiliated youth organization called Gema MKGR (Generasi Muda Musyawarah Kekeluargaan Gotong Royong), run by Tantyo Sudharmono, son of the former vice-president of Indonesia, said it would activate its six million members to hunt for members of the PRD. On August 10, a pro-government rally of 30,000 people from around Jakarta was held in the parking lot of the Jakarta sports stadium, Senayan, led by the army, to demand that the PRD be banned as an organization because its members "thought and acted" like the Indonesian Communist Party. The majority of the participants were from organizations linked to Golkar, such as the youth groups AMPI and KNPI; Pancasila Youth (Pemuda Pancasila); and an organization for children of veterans. Five army generals led the program.
Among the organizations calling PRD a communist organization and urging the government to take harsh action were the largest Muslim students' organization, Himpunan Mahasiswa Islam (HMI); Pemuda Muhammadiyah (a modernist Muslim youth organization); Pemuda Ansor (the youth group of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization, Nadlatul Ulama), and several others including Pemuda Tarbiyah and Angkatan Muda Islam Indonesia.
On August 1, seventeen Muslim organizations in Central Java issued a statement condemning the PRD in the name of the "Committee of Students and Youth Against Violence and Communism."10 On August 4, a program was held at one of Jakarta's well-known mosques, Mesjid Agung Al-Azhar, with speaker after speaker urging the government to act forcefully against supporters of communism. Hussein Umar, secretary-general of the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia, a Muslim proselytizing organization, urged the government not to hold back, as did three speakers active in the Indonesian Committee for Solidarity with the Islamic World. One of the latter, H. Ahmad Sumargono, reminded his listeners that Muslims had also been victims of the New Order government, but in this case the government must not permit communists-who were clearly enemies of the faithful-to disseminate their teachings.11
Absent from these demands for action was the voice of the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association, known by its Indonesian acronym ICMI and led by one of the most powerful men in Indonesian politics, B.J. Habibie, minister for research and technology. The organization, set up by Soeharto in 1990, has been seen by many as the president's effort to "play the Muslim card" in his rift with the army by using ICMI to develop a mass base of support. For the first few days after the riot, there was conspicuous silence from ICMI, explainable only in part by the fact that Minister Habibie was overseas. Finally, on August 8, ICMI issued a two-page statement signed by Habibie and ICMI Secretary-General Adi Sasono that the two men had presented to President Soeharto in a meeting earlier that day. It affirmed its support for the New Order and rejected any efforts, direct or indirect, including by PRD, to oppose it, but it also called for the principle of presumption of innocence to be upheld. The statement concluded by urging that reforms be continued and strengthened to address basic problems of socioeconomic, communal and regional discontent. 12
ICMI's remarks may be a tacit criticism of the army-Habibie's relations with senior officers have never been good-but they may also help prevent political divisions being drawn along communal lines. Megawati's party, the PDI, was an amalgam of Soekarno's Indonesian Nationalist Party together with small Protestant and Catholic parties. To the extent the PRD and Megawati are linked, the efforts of some in the government to whip up Muslim fears of a communist threat may exacerbate already strained Christian-Muslim tensions in Indonesia.
It is worth noting that the government is not united. Just as there was opposition within the political elite to the decision to oust Megawati as PDI chair and to use force to stop the occupation of the PDI headquarters on July 27, there are indications, in addition to the Habibie statement, that not all government officials believe the anti-communist mobilization is desirable. Defense Minister Edy Sudradjat, considered by many to be a critic of the Soeharto government, has made no public statement whatsoever on the riot or the anti-communist aftermath and did not attend the cabinet meeting where the accusations against the PRD were laid out.
VI. THE IMPACT ON FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND EXPRESSION
In addition to the arrests of PRD members, the government is targeting other nongovernmental organizations and summoning prominent critics of the government for interrogation, casting a pall over freedom of expression and association. Shortly after the PDI raid and riots, Home Affairs Minister Yogie Memet announced that all NGOs were required to register with his office or face being banned; the legal basis for that requirement is not clear, but it would only take a ministerial directive to make it happen.
Meanwhile, the list of those summoned for interrogation includes some of Indonesia's most prominent public figures. Ousted PDI leader Megawati Sukarnoputri was ordered to appear on August 9 for questioning about the July 27 riots, and since she had refused the first summons, the attorney general threatened to use force to bring her in.13 According to one of Megawati's lawyers, the attorney general probed her activities during the period between the June renegade party congress which ousted her and the July 27 raid on the PDI headquarters. She was also asked about the PDI open forum and PRD head Budiman Sudjatmiko. Megawati has denied any connection to Sudjatmiko and claimed that the PDI forum was authorized by Jakarta's military commander, Major General Sutiyoso. The attorney general was expected to question Megawati again on August 15.
The attorney general issued summonses for the week of August 12 to five other PDI members of Parliament: Sophan Sophiaan, Sabam Sirait, Soekowalujo Mintohardjo, Soetardjo Soerjogoeritno and Aberson M. Sihaloho. They are wanted for questioning regarding their role in the PDI free speech forum.
Others questioned include a well-known mystic and activist, Permadi, who was convicted in 1995 of blasphemy for a talk he gave at a university seminar; Promoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia's best-known novelist, who served fourteen years in prison for his association with a cultural organization affiliated to the Indonesian Communist Party; and Yulius Usman, vice-chair of the Indonesian Democratic Union Party (PUDI). PUDI is the party of Sri Bintang Pamungkas, a former member of parliament who was convicted earlier this year on charges of defaming the president and sentenced to thirty-four months' imprisonment, although he is currently free pending appeal. Bintang was another participant in the PDI open forum.
Meanwhile, the attorney general has indicated that he plans to question members of NGOs that are part of MARI, the NGO coalition. The assistant head of the intelligence division of the attorney general's office, Hadi Baroto, added that his office would deepen its investigation into a link between MARI and PRD.
MARI, which was founded on July 25,1996, had issued a statement calling for wage increases and other economic improvements, government enforcement of anti-corruption laws, and repeal of five laws governing political activities in Indonesia, including those that place restrictions on political parties and social organizations (See Appendix V). The attorney general's office has twice interrogated Ridwan Saidi, chair of MARI, once about the July 27 riot and once as a witness in the subversion cases against Muchtar Pakpahan and Budiman Sudjatmiko. Ir. Haryana, the vice-chair of MARI, has also been questioned.
The targeting of PRD has also led to suspicion falling on KIPP, an acronym for Independent Election Monitoring Committee, a group set up in March 1996 which quickly produced branches around the country. Activists from SMID and PRD were prominent in KIPP, but so were the heads of many human rights and environmental NGOs in Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Kalimantan. A summons has also been issued to Mulyana Kusumah, secretary-general of KIPP, for questioning regarding his relationship to PRD. Earlier this year, Indonesian authorities had sought to discredit Kusumah-and KIPP, by association-with accusations that he had been active as a student in groups linked to the PKI.14
While the process of interrogating leading critics can be seen as a curb on freedom of expression, there have also been direct attempts to control reporting. Indonesian authorities have pressured editors of Indonesian newspapers to report favorably on the government's actions vis-a-vis the ouster of Megawati from the PDI leadership andsubsequent events. On July 28, Lt. Gen. Syarwan Hamid called Jakarta-based editors and bureau chiefs to a meeting at which he warned them to support the government's position. Even before the July 27 riot, the Indonesian media were told that in writing about Megawati, they were not to use her patronymic, Soekarnoputri-daughter of Soekarno-but instead, her husband's last name. Some prominent newspapers refused. On July 25, a half-page appeal appeared on the front page of Media Indonesia, a newspaper with a circulation of 100,000, partly owned by one of Soeharto's sons, urging the national media, both print and electronic, to stop all coverage of the PDI. The Indonesian media should "follow the call from President Suharto that political or mass organizations in Indonesia must consolidate for the sake of unity."
In the aftermath of the raid on the PDI offices and the riot that followed, security forces have assaulted journalists and seized press materials. According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, two local journalists covering the Jakarta riots were beaten by soldiers. Soldiers also seized video footage belonging to Associated Press Television and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.15
On July 28, military personnel detained two journalists who were attempting to cover a protest in Surabaya by hundreds of PDI supporters. The journalists were taken to army headquarters and beaten for three hours before being released.
On July 30, government officials warned Indonesians to be wary of foreign media reports covering the riots, claiming that many foreign reports are inaccurate and based on "rumors." Also, Minister of Manpower Abdul Latief accused Asia Business News, a Singapore-based television station, of over reporting Indonesia's labor unrest.
Yopie Lasut, an Indonesian journalist working for Radio Netherlands, reported that ten policemen searched his office on August 1 and confiscated computer diskettes. According to an official at the Information Ministry, he was not registered with the ministry as a journalist working with a foreign news organization. He has since been banned from travel abroad.
VII. THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The raid by Indonesian security forces on the PDI headquarters took place two days after the close of a meeting in Jakarta of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which brought together foreign ministers from the United States, Australia, the European Union and eighteen other countries. International media coverage of the attack on the PDI, the subsequent riots and government crackdown was heightened by the presence of journalists covering the ARF meeting.
Statements by the U.S. and other governments appear to represent a major change toward the Soeharto government, suggesting that members of the international community intend to strengthen efforts in the near term to ensure a peaceful transition and the advent of a more pluralist system of government.
The European Union and the U.S. and other governments have publicly called on the government of Indonesia to respect the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. They have also urged the Indonesian government to guarantee that those arrested in the wake of the Jakarta riots be provided full due process of law and be treated according to international standards for the treatment of detainees.
In response to widespread international concern over the Indonesian government's actions, Indonesian military Chief of Socio-Political Affairs Lt. Gen. Syarwan Hamid briefed representatives of more than twenty foreignembassies on August 5. Diplomats reportedly questioned the government's assertion of a revived communist movement in Indonesia.
The Indonesian security forces' violent attack on the PDI headquarters and the subsequent military-led crackdown on elements of civil society have renewed concerns, particularly in the United States and Britain, about international arms exports to Indonesia. The United States, Britain, Australia and Germany, among others, have supplied military equipment to the Indonesian government. In response to U.S. Senate consideration of an amendment restricting arms exports to Indonesia, however, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed its policy of a prohibition on sale or transfer of small arms, crowd control equipment and armed personnel carriers to the Indonesian government.
The following is a partial list of government responses, media commentary and public protests regarding the Indonesian government's recent actions in cracking down on its critics.
The United States
Testifying on August 1 before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the situation in Indonesia, Secretary of State Warren Christopher stated, "I think there's a strong interest in seeing an orderly transition of power there that will recognize the pluralism that should exist in a country of that magnitude and importance." He went on to say that the United States government "will be encouraging a transition there that expresses the popular will."
U.S. officials have called the Indonesian government's treatment of demonstrators "unjust," stating that the U.S. government was "seriously disturbed by the use of violence to end what had been a peaceful assembly." Although the U.S. government has so far declined to cancel the sale of F-16 fighter planes to Indonesia, there have been indications that it may postpone the deal in light of the recent crackdown.
On August 7, a bipartisan group of thirty-six members of the U.S. House of Representatives issued a letter to Foreign Minister Ali Alatas expressing concern over the Indonesian government's handling of the PDI incident and its tolerance of the use of violence. The representatives called on Indonesian authorities to respect fully the rights of those arrested in connection with these events; ensure restraint by security forces, including prohibition of all forms of intimidation directed at elements of civil society; disband the Pancasila Youth; allow unrestricted press coverage; and offer full cooperation to the National Human Rights Commission.
The U.S. government seems increasingly sensitive to signs of social unrest in Indonesia, particularly as these relate to the country's system of governance. In an August 2 statement, the State Department warned Americans traveling to Indonesia of "the possibility of tension and sporadic violence in Indonesia during the period leading up to the election in May 1997."
On August 8, Frontlash, the youth group of the AFL-CIO, and other NGOs staged a protest in front of the Indonesian embassy in Washington, DC, of the government's actions surrounding the PDI incident.
The European Union
The European Union has requested verification of the number of people missing and details of the charges against the detainees. The EU representative in Jakarta, Mr. Dick Den Haas, stated that the EU had sought assurances from the Indonesian government that it will abide by international human rights standards in its treatment and prosecution of detainees.
Niall Andrews, a European Parliament member, criticized the EU's approach to Indonesia's human rights practices as "blatant hypocrisy" and accused the EU of "propping up" the Indonesian regime with military support.16
The United Kingdom
The British Foreign Office spokesman said on August 2 that the British government was following the situation in Indonesia "with concern" and had raised the matter with the Indonesian deputy chief of mission in London. In response to unconfirmed reports that Indonesian security forces were using British-built Scorpion 90 tanks in the streets of Jakarta, the British Foreign Office stated that the Indonesian government had given assurances at the ministerial level that the military equipment would not be used for purposes of internal security. Foreign Office officials said Britain would take a "dim view" should the Indonesian government violate this understanding. The debate in Britain over exports of military equipment came amidst the acquittal on July 30 by a Liverpool court of four women who had caused more than £1.5 million damage to a Hawk airplane scheduled for delivery to the Indonesian government.
In July 1996 Minister of Information Harmoko visited Tokyo in his capacity as head of Golkar. He met with Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto, who made him an honorary member of the Liberal Democratic Party. Since the PDI crackdown, the Japanese Foreign Ministry has not publicly condemned Indonesia's actions, though others in Japan have been outspoken. For example, RENGO, the Japanese national trade union federation, expressed concern about Muchtar Pakpahan and sent an appeal to the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower calling for his release.
Thai representatives of three pro-democracy NGOs rallied outside the Indonesian embassy in Bangkok on August 6. A petition against Indonesia's "excessive use of force" was presented, and a leader of one of the groups warned, "If this situation continues, Indonesia will soon be the second Burma of Asia."17 On August 5, more than fifteen Thai NGOs issued an open letter to President Soeharto protesting the Indonesian government's use of violence, the military's "shoot on sight" orders and the revival of the communist label to repress dissenting voices.
On August 1, representatives of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates and other Filipino groups marched to the Indonesian embassy in Manila to protest the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Jakarta. Protesters called for international isolation of Indonesia for its "massive human rights violations."
On August 9, approximately 200 members of the labor organization United Filipino Workers rallied and picketed outside the Indonesian embassy to protest against the Soeharto government and to express solidarity with Indonesia's PRD.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines sent a letter to President Soeharto on August 2, expressing concern regarding the arrest and detention of labor leader Muchtar Pakpahan. The letter reminded the president that the Indonesian government's harassment of Pakpahan for engaging in legitimate trade union activities is in direct violation of internationally established conventions for labor rights.
On August 5, three Norwegian opposition parties called for a boycott of aid to Norwegian firms investing in Indonesia, estimated at US$13.3 million. According to Parliament member Marit Arnstad, "Last week's events showwhat kind of regime the Norwegian government is encouraging cooperation with . . . .We demand a full stop of the aid to Indonesia." Former Foreign Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik said, "This is a documented, clear case of human rights offenses, and I believe it is natural to end the aid to Norwegian companies that want to invest in Indonesia."18
On July 29, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer offered a weak statement of concern, stating that the Australian government hoped "the situation will settle down very quickly."19
On August 2, Gregson Edwards, spokesperson for the Australian embassy in Jakarta, called on the Indonesian government to provide due process of law to Muchtar Pakpahan and others arrested in the aftermath of the riots. According to Edwards, "We urge that Muchtar Pakpahan and any others arrested in the wake of the July 27 riots be given their full rights and due process under Indonesian criminal law and in accordance with international standards." Edwards stated that Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer had instructed embassy staff to "closely monitor the situation of Mr. Pakpahan and others under detention."20
Bill Morrison, former Australian ambassador to Indonesia, wrote in the Australian Financial Review that "the Indonesian armed forces operate outside civil laws. . . They act autonomously to preserve public order and are not subject to any restraints in exercising that power. They are responsible only to the president. . . We delude ourselves if we believe we can influence the Indonesian armed forces to follow our example."21
Several Australian newspaper editorials have criticized Indonesia's recent crackdown and have called for a change in Australia's relationship with the Soeharto government. According to David Jenkins, the Sydney Morning Herald's Asia editor, Soeharto is "increasingly remote" and resistant to change. "[Indonesian] society demands change; Soeharto resists it," wrote Jenkins.22
Struktur Organisasi PRD*
Sabron Aidit CS - ------ Amnesti Int'l------ Partai Buruh Australia
Keponakan Aidit Juspik Hajar
*______ ASA (Asian Student Assoc)
PRD - - · Danil (Mantan Infid/Skephi)
1992 * - - · Budiman (Pjs Ketua)
* - - · Webi
* -- · Sugeng Bahagio
1994 1994 1995 1995 1993
JKR SMID PPBI SRI STN
Jaringan Solidaritas Pusat Serikat Serikat
Kesenian Mahasiswa Perjuangan Rakyat Tani
Rakyat Indonesia untuk Buruh Indonesia Nasional
----------- ------------- ---------- --------- -------
Wiji Tukul Andi Arief Ditasari Parto Jayadi
Solo Jabotabek Jabotabek Yogyakarta Yogya.
Yogyakarta Semarang Semarang Solo Jakarta
Klaten Solo Solo Jakarta
Yogyakarta G? Ngawi
Surabaya Medan Cilacap
As it appeared in Sinar (a Jakarta weekly), August 3, 1996 and other newspapers and on television.
LIST OF MISSING (as of August 10, 1996)
|1.||Agus Wardaya||Male||PDI Member|
|3.||Javier Hutagalung||Male/37||Bus Conductor|
|7.||Deradjat Kurnia||Male||PDI Regional Coordinator|
|8.||M. Rozak||Male||PDI Member|
|9.||Edy S.V.||Male||PDI Member|
|11.||Hidang Jadi||Male||PDI Member|
|12.||Toto Hartono||Male||PDI Member|
|13.||CPS Silaban||Male||PDI Member|
|14.||Syaiful Amri||Male||PDI Member|
|16.||Leo Muda Limbong||Male||PDI Member|
|17.||M. Kristianto||Male||PDI Member|
|18.||Kuntaryo||Male/26||PDI Security Guard|
|19.||Sigit Yuli Asmoro||Male/35||Mechanic|
|20.||Iken Adnang Karepsina||Male/22||PDI Activist|
A Chronology of the Role of Hired Thugs in the Seizure of the PDI Office
On Saturday, 27 July 1996, I, Muchtar Pakpahan, Chairman of the Indonesian Prosperity Labor Union (SBSI), received information from a variety of people who had been involved in the seizure of the PDI office at Jl. Diponegoro 58, Central Jakarta:
1) On 26 July 1996, at approximately 20:00 W. I. B., seven (7) buses brought 300 thugs and longshoremen from Pasar Induk, in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta. These men were promised that they would be given a party at a discotheque and that each man would receive Rp. 15,000 [U. S. $ 6.50]. These men were organized by Marlaba Saragih, who owns a kiosk in Block IA of Pasar Induk. Marlaba is a member of MKGR, [an organization affiliated with the ruling Golkar organization]
2) At approximately 21:00 W. I. B., these men were brought to a police station, and given clothing which bore the PDJ logo, axes, and hammers. They were then instructed to attack the PDJ office. Many of the men refused these orders because they supported Megawati. The rest cooperated with Soerjadi and ABRI to attack Megawati's supporters.
3) This afternoon, 27 July 1996, at approximately 17:00 W. I. B., some of these men vandalized Marlaba Saragih's kiosk because they felt they had been cheated. As of 20:00, approximately 30 people have not returned. [from the riots] The names of the witnesses to these events will be revealed later.
4) It is clear that I must reveal these things in the service of truth and justice, in accordance with the 1945 Constitution and Pancasila, and so that the people of Indonesia will no longer be lied to.
Jakarta, 27 July 1996
21:00 W. I. B.
Partial List of Protests and Demonstrations for which PRD, SMID or PPBI Have Taken Credit
April 17, 1995, Medan: students demonstrate at the local parliament (DPRD) against President Soeharto's statement that protestors who confronted him on his state visit to Germany earlier that month were "crazy, fanatic." Ten of the demonstrators are subsequently arrested, nine from Medan and one, the SMID national coordinator for international relations, from Yogyakarta.
April 25, 1995, Yogyakarta: Some 300 students gather near Gajah Mada University to protest the arrest and beating of their colleagues in Medan. Andi Arief, then head of SMID-Yogyakarta, appears and says the "crazy fanatics" are the corrupt military. Protest is broken up by the district military command.
May 1, 1995, Jakarta: PPBI and SMID activists, led by Dita Sari, lead several dozen workers and students to the Ministry of Manpower as part of the commemoration of International Labor Day. They demand a minimum minimum daily wage of Rp.7000 (US$3.50), an end to corruption, the right to organize, an end to military intervention in labor disputes, and freedom for Muchtar Pakpahan, the labor leader. Five people are arrested and later released, including Dita Sari (PPBI headquarters), Nasrul (PPBI-Bogor), Fitri (PPBI-Tanggerang), Ruchiat (PBI-Cakung, North Jakarta), and Wignyo, (PPBI-KBN Industrial Estate, North Jakarta).
May 1, 1995, Semarang: Some 400 students and workers gather at Diponegoro University in Semarang for International Labor Day and try to march toward the Central Java governor's office. Police and military block their way, clashes take place, and sixteen students are arrested and briefly held, including Petrus Haryanto, the general secretary of SMID, and Lukman, national director for PPBI. Garda Sembiring, of SMID-Jakarta, is also arrested. Garda and Petrus are among those now being sought in connection with the July 27 riots. The demonstrators carry banners in English reading "Demand Minimum Wage" and "Militarism Go to Hell."
July 18, 1995, Bogor: PPBI and SMID activists organize 13,000 workers from PTGreat River, a garment factory that produces Triumph underwear and Arrow and Kenzo shirts and that is partly owned by Indonesian Minister of Manpower Abdul Latief and former coordinating minister for politics and security, Admiral Sudomo. As the workers marched toward the Bogor parliament, demanding a mininum wage of Rp.7,000, menstrual leave for women workers and an end to the government-controlled union, SPSI, the military set up a blockade to prevent them from going inside the grounds of the parliament building. Six activists broke through the blockade and were arrested, including Dita Sari and Lukman of PPBI, and five SMID activists from Yogyakarta, Semarang and Jakarta. They were held briefly and released.
December 7, 1995, Jakarta: SMID activists join East Timorese students in the occupation of the rounds of the Dutch embassy to protest Indonesia's occupation of the former Portuguese colony.
December 11, 1995, Solo: Some 14,000 workers take part in a strike and rally organized by PPBI at Sritex textile factory (PT Sri Rejeki Isman) in which President Soeharto's eldest daughter, Tutut, and Minister of Information Harmoko are both shareholders. Among other things, the factory makes Golkar uniforms and shirts. Fifteen PRD organizers are arrested by the military just before the program for the rally begins on the grounds that they did not bring their identity cards. Among them are Garda Sembiring, Herman of PRD-Surabaya, and Kelik Ismunanto of PRD-Jakarta. Edy of PRD-Solo leads the workers on a march to the local parliament where they demand the minimum wage with a separate food allowance, a monthly paycheck calculated on thirty rather than twenty-six days, menstrual leave for women workers and an end to the system of setting production targets.
February 5, 1996, Menado: activists of SMID-Manado and the Indonesian Peasants Union (Serikat Tani Indonesia), an affiliate of PRD, help organize a rally for peasants from the village of Kaneyan, Minahasa, North Sulawesi, whoare protesting the construction of high-voltage power lines across their land.The protest has been going on since late 1994 and both the police and the village head have told peasants that opponents of the project will be considered "obstructors of development" and communists.
March 11, 1996, Jakarta:Fifty students from the greater Jakarta SMID (SMID-Jabotabek) led by Buyung H march to the Ministry of Manpower to demand free and fair elections and hold an "open forum" in front of the ministry. Garda Sembiring reads their demands for repeal of five 1985 laws that restrict democracy. The demonstration is peaceful.
March 23, 1996, Solo: meeting of KIPP, Solo, led by students from Serikat Rakyat Surakarta, an affiliate of KIPP, broken up by the subdistrict military command
March 26, 1996, Lampung: establishment of KIPP-Lampung, with executive committee compoased of SMID, Forum Diskusi Mahasiswa-Lampung (Student Discussion Forum), LBH-Lampung, SBSI, and various Protestant and Soekarnoist student groups. Bambang Ekalaya, coordinator for KIPP-Lampung, arrested and interrogated for nine hours at the regional military command (Korem 043) following the opening of the meeting.
April 25,1996, Pemalang: Over 100 students organized by the Indonesian People who Support Megawati (Masyarakat Indonesia Pedukung Megawati) and PRD hold an "open forum" to discuss democracy, election-monitoring and events in Ujungpandang. Twenty-three students are briefly detained.
April 22-26, 1996, Ujungpandang: demonstrations to protest increase in transportation fares. The first, on April 22, was coordinated by the Student Pro-Democracy Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Pro-Demokrasi) with one group marching to the local parliament and another to the office of the governor of South Sulawesi. Both took place without incident. On April 23, the demonstrations grew in size, and riot police were out in force. On April 24 the first violence took place, with several minibuses being overturned. Security forces then began striking out at students and lecturers alike. By the end of the day, armored personnel carriers enter the campus of Universitas Muslim Indonesia and troops storm the campus. At least three students die, according to officials, from drowning after jumping into the river to escape the army. More than 100 are wounded. The next day was even more violent, with students from virtually every college and university in the city involved. Following the army action, demonstrations in sympathy for those killed and wounded erupted all over Java and Sumatra.
May 1, 1996, Surabaya: Some 500 students gather at the Sunan Ampel State Islamic Institute (IAIN) to show solidarity with their colleagues killed and injured in Ujungpandang. Organized by a group called ASMUNI, an acronym for Student Solidarity Action for Ujungpandang, the students demand campus autonomy, an end to the "security approach," improvements in representative insitutions like the national parliament, and punishment for soldiers involved in the Ujungpandang casualties. The local press gave SMID credit for the demonstration, but ASMUNI members claimed that SMID tried to hijack it for its own purposes and forced SMID to write a letter to the local papers, giving ASMUNI credit for the demonstration.
May 2, 1996, Solo: SMID-Solo organizes demonstration to protest Ujungpandang in front of the literature faculty of Universitas Sebelas Maret (March 11 University). Demonstrators are blocked by three trucks of KOSTRAD troops and one from the district military command. SMID leaders urge marchers to defy them. Some fifteen people are detained briefly, including Prijo Wasono, head of SMID-Solo and Dadang Kosasih, of the latter's advocacy bureau.
May 8, 1996, Yogyakarta: SMID-Yogyakarta organizes march and demonstration in solidarity for those killed in Ujungpandang.
May 9, 1996, Bogor: PPBI helps organize a work stoppage at PT Indo Shoes in the industrial zone in Citeureup, Bogor. More than 7,000 workers take part.
May 14, 1996, Yogyakarta: Bigger demonstration to protest Ujungpandang deaths organized by SMID-Yogyakarta. Participants estimate that marchers grew from 120 people to some 900, demanding an end to repressive military actions, such as those in Aceh (1989-91), Lampung (1989), East Timor, Tanjung Priok (1984), Nipah (1993), and Timika (1996). Yanti, a SMID-Semarang leader, reminds people that they have no political rights. The marchers head for the Yogyakarta parliament, but the military blocks their way. The SMID leaders decide on confrontation; several are wounded in clashes and taken to local hospitals.
June 14, 1996, Semarang: A rally of over 100 PDI representatives and activists from PRD-Semarang to support the candidacy of Megawati takes place in front of the literature faculty of Diponegoro University.
June 17, 1996, Surabaya: Close to 1,000 supporters of Megawati from PDI and PRD calling themselves the Megawati Supporters Front march in the streets.
June 17, 1996, Yogyakarta: Hundreds of SMID and PRD activists have a pro-Megawati demonstration.
June 18, 1996, Salatiga: Hundreds of students organized by PRD call for the end of the military's "dual function", the repeal of five 1985 laws regulating politics and support for Megawati. Demonstrators occupy the local parliament until almost midnight.
June 18-19, 1996, Jakarta: Some 5,000 workers from PT Indo Shoes, PT Ganda Guna and PT Kingstone, organized by PRD and PPBI, hold a rally at the national parliament building. Budiman Sudjatmiko of PRD gives a speech about how important it is for workers to have their own party so that they can pursue the struggle for their economic and political rights. He asks them to support Megawati Soekarnoputri. Dita Sari of PPBI urges them to make political demands and fight oppression. A delegation of workers and PRD/PPBI is received by four representatives of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) including Sabam Sirait, Marcel Bleding and Aberson. Police and army try to arrest some of the workers as they come out. Garda Sembiring of PRD is beaten. Many of the workers are brought back to Bogor by the mobile police brigade in trucks. The work stoppage at PT Indo Shoes continues the next day.
June 19-20, 1996, Jakarta: A pro-Megawati demonstration organized by an alliance of different groups, including the PRD, starts with about 4,000 people on June 19 and builds to some 15,000 people by the next day. The marchers tried to move from the National Monument in the center of the city to PDI headquarters but were stopped at the Gambir train station by police and military. Four people were reported to have died and dozens were injured when demonstrators and security forces clashed.
June 21, 1996, Lampung: 350 people gather in Lampung for a pro-Megawati demonstration, broken up by military.
July 8, 1996, Surabaya: An estimated 20,000 workers from ten factories march on the streets of Surabaya demanding the minimum wage. Twenty-four activists from PPBI are arrested and brought to metropolitan Surabaya police headquarters; all but two, Dita Sari of PPBI and Coen Hussein Ponto, are released. Those two are charged under article 160 of the criminal code with "incitement to violence." Others are arrested later for involvement in the same incident.
STATEMENT OF MAJELIS RAKYAT INDONESIA (MARI)
The Four Demands of the People for Change
1. Raise Wages
The minimum wage for workers should be Rp. 7,000/day
The wages of government employees should be raised to at least Rp. 600,000/month
The wages of ABRI members should be at least Rp. 600,000/month
2. Improvements to the Economy for the People
Raise the prices of agricultural products
Lower the prices of necessary goods and services
Keep the exchange rate at 1$ US = Rp. 2,000
Provide free education to the people through high school
3. Improvements in Accord with Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution's Original Intent
Repeal the five laws on politics (governing the general election; parliament; referendums; political parties and Golkar; and social organizations)
Revise laws that contravene the intent of the 1945 Constitution
Create a social structure that is just, fair and democratic
4. Law Enforcement and Justice
Stop corruption, manipulation, collusion, monopolies and bribery
Severely punish those responsible for these abuses
Punish the betrayers of our nation
INDEX OF ARRESTS
Abadi Halawa 9
Achmad Imam Ghozali 7
Agus Sukarmanto 8
Aledon Nainggolan 9
Benny S. 5
Budi Pratomo 8
Budiman Sudjatmiko 5
Coen Husein Ponto 9
Didit Sutopo 8
Diki Prabowo 9
Dita Indah Sari 9
Eko Orastowo 7
Eko Sulistyo 8
Freddy Manurung 9
Ganda Manurung 9
Garda Sembiring 6
Hary Kurniawan 7
Hendrik Dicson Sirait 6
Ignatius Pranowo 6
Ignatius Putut Arintoko 6
Johanes Librayanto 7
Josep Kurniawan 5
Ken Muda Kusumadaru 6
Lisa "Icha" Febrianti 8
Mohamed Sholeh 9
Mohammad Ali 7
Morgan Sinaga 9
Mrs. B.Veronica Sembiring 6
Muchtar Pakpahan 6
Nyona Sipon 8
Petrus Hariyanto 5
Prihadi Beny Waluyo 8
Ronald Naibaho 9
Subarni Budi Kasih 8
Sunarman Purosaputro 7
Suyoko Jati Nugroho 7
Syafei Kadarisman 6
Syamsul Bachri 8
Toni Permana 7
Trio Johanes Muliate Marpaung 8
Victor da Costa 6
Wahyu Wijanarko 9
Wisnu Agung 7
Wisnu Ranta Hadi 9
Zaenal Abidin 8
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The RFK Center has worked on human rights issues in Indonesia since 1993, when Bambang Widjojanto of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation received the RFK Human Rights Award.
1 See Reuters, "Indonesia Capital Tense, military warns rioters," July 30,1996; Kyodo News Service, "Indonesia military threatens to shoot rioters on spot," July 30, 1996.
2 Paul Jacob, "Muslim Group Backs Handling of July Riots," The Straits Times, August 9, 1996, p. 2.
3 For a good discussion the recent history of student activism and the emergence of the PRD and other organizations with a radical populist bent, see E. Aspinall, "Students and the Military: Regime Friction and Civilian Dissent in the Late Suharto Period," Indonesia, No.59, April 1995, pp. 21-44.
4 See Asia Watch (now Human Rights Watch/Asia), Injustice, Persecution, Eviction: A Human Rights Update on Indonesia and East Timor (New York : Human Rights Watch, March 1990), pp. 7-16.
5 Aspinall, "Students and the Military...," Indonesia, p. 32.
6 Human Rights Watch/Asia, The Limits of Openness (New York: Human Rights Watch, September 1994), p. 12, and Aspinall, "Students and the Military...," Indonesia, pp. 34-42. The possibility of military support surfaced in a student protest against then Minister of the Interior Rudini in November 1989 in Bandung; in a protest against the state lottery in November 1993 in Jakarta where demonstrators were actually allowed to go up to the gate of the presidential palace; and in a demon stration in the lobby of the national parliament on December 14, 1993. Syarwan Hamid, the hardline general who runs the social and political affairs division of the military, told the Jakarta magazine Forum Keadilan (August 12, 1996), that PRD is well-financed from the pockets of former (unnamed) officials.
7 "Ormas Keras Pendapat Cap Kiri," Forum Keadilan, Vol. V, No.9, August 12, 1996.
8 "Soeharto labels PRD insurgent," Jakarta Post, August 8, 1996.
9 "Markas PRD digerebek, ada 60 personelnya dilatih di Filipina," Republika, July 31, 1996.
10 "Menkeh: tembak di tempat wajar," Media Indonesia, August 2, 1996.
11 "Dita Akui Dua Kali ke Australia," Republika, August 5, 1996.
12 "ICMI: Dukung Orba, Tingkatkan Pembaruan," Republika, August 9, 1996.
13 Harian Terbit, Jakarta, August 7,1996, p. 1 Under Indonesian law, presidential authorization is required for members of Parliament to be summoned by the attorney general. Megawati's lawyers had challenged the validity of the summons be cause it did not have the president's signature.
14 See Human Rights Watch/Asia, "Indonesia: Election Monitoring and Human Rights," A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 8, no. 5, May 1996.
15 For a full summary of these events, see Committee to Protect Journalists press release, August 7, 1996.
16 "EU Propping Up Indonesia," The Irish Times, August 9, 1996, p. 5.
17 "Thai pro-democracy groups protest Indonesian crackdown," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 6, 1996.
18 "Three Norwegian Parties Call for Aid Boycott of Indonesia," Agence France Presse, August 5, 1996.
19 See Reuters, "Indonesia Capital Tense, military warns rioters," July 30, 1996.
20 "Australia Calls for Due Process in Labour Leader Case," Agence France Presse, August 2, 1996.
21 Gordon Feeney, "Ex-Ambassador Puts Indonesian Military in Perspective," Australian Associated Press, August 8, 1996.
22 "Australian Media Condemn Indonesian Crackdown," Reuters, July 30, 1996.