18 June 2008

Indonesia: Student activist in North Maluku abducted and tortured

Asia Pacific Solidarity Network Action Alert - May 29, 2008

The Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN) has received information from the People’s Democratic Party-Political Committee of the Poor (KPRM-PRD) that on May 27 a student activist named Chalid from the Politics of the Poor-Indonesian National Student League for Democracy (LMND-PRM) in the North Maluku city of Ternate was abducted by unknown persons, taken to an isolated location where he was beaten and tortured with electric shocks. Chalid was later released but warned that he would be under surveillance and threatened with death.

The incident follows a series of demonstrations and clashes with police in Ternate during widespread protest actions in the lead up to and following the Indonesian government’s unpopular decision to increase the price of fuel.

Case details

According to a report and chronology released by KPRM-PRD, on May 27 a person described as being around 30-years-old, 170cm tall with a beard and speaking with a North Maluku dialect asked Chalid to help him carry his belongings contained in a sack.

Chalid was then thrown to the ground and lost curiousness. He was subsequently taken some distance to an isolated location and placed in a room measuring 2x3 metres.
Upon regaining consciousness, Chalid use a “Call Me” facility on his cell phone and received an immediate reply from a colleague. As he answered the call a person entered the room and grabbed him from behind. His eyes were covered, his hands tied and his cell phone taken away and turned off.

He was then bombarded with questions (spoken in a Javanese dialect) about his identity, where he studied and whether he was a member of the “Black”-LMND or LMND-PRM (Chalid answered LMND-PRM), about his political activates with the Student Executive Council (BEM) on his campus and his relationship with LMND-PRM. During the interrogation he was repeatedly beaten by four individuals after which he was given electric shocks until he fell unconscious.

Before falling unconscious, Chalid told to convey three things to his fellow activist: They must stop their political activates; if not they would be abducted and killed and; that they would release him later that night but kill him the following day.

Additional incidents

At around midnight on May 27 another LMND-PRM activists named Jul was almost abducted by unidentified individuals.

At 2am on the following day, May 28, a member of GAMHAS Ternate named Aken was chased by unidentified intelligence agents but succeeded in eluding his pursuers. Two of his colleagues name Kismanto and Achil were also pursued on or around the same time.

Call for solidarity

In a press release on May 27, KPRM-PRD spokesperson Zely Ariane condemned the incidents and demanded a full investigation into Chalid’s abduction and torture. They also called for an end to all forms of state terror and intimidation against people involved in peaceful demonstrations against the government.

“In democratic terms, the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla and all of its institutions of power post reformasi have not changed. There are direct elections, many political parties, ABRI [the armed forces] has changed its name, the TNI [Indonesian military] no longer sits in parliament, the National Human Rights Commission was allowed to be formed and the press can say what it likes (read what the media owners like). But the essence of genuine democracy in the form of the freedom to struggle, fight and express ideological views is yet to be won by the people”, said Ariane.

The KPRM-PRD is calling the people’s movements not to be coopted and to garner the widest possible solidarity against cases of terror, intimidation and repression against people’s and student actions. They are also calling on the National Human Rights Commission to summon the North Maluku police chief and to form a special team to investigate this and other related incidents, for the ministry of defense and all related military institutions (including the National Intelligence Agency) to be under civil authority and for the dismantling of the Indonesian military’s territorial commands structure.

Your solidarity is needed to support the pro-democracy and people’s opposition movements and to pressure the authorities to take legal action against those carrying out these acts of intimidation and terror.

Send you messages of solidarity to:

SMS text short messages to No: +62 856-52208434; or +62 815-8126673
pembebasan.kprm@gmail.com and front.pembebasan.nasional@gmail.com.
Asia Pacific Solidarity Network
A chronology of the incidents is available in Indonesian at:
http://kprm-prd.blogspot.com/2008/05/kronologi-1-penculikan-kawan-chalid.html and http://kprm-prd.blogspot.com/2008/05/kronologi-2-penculikan-kawan-chalid.html.

Please send letters of protest to:
1. Mr. Susilo Bambang YudoyonoPresidentRepublic of IndonesiaPresidential PalaceJl. Medan Merdeka UtaraJakarta Pusat 10010INDONESIATel: + 62 21 3845627 ext 1003Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782

2. Mr. Hendarman SupandjiAttorney GeneralKejaksaan Agung RIJl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1Jakarta SelatanINDONESIATel: + 62 21 7221337, 7397602Fax: + 62 21 7250213

3. Gen. SutantoChief of National PoliceJl. Trunojoyo No. 3Jakarta SelatanINDONESIATel: +62 21 721 8012Fax: +62 21 720 7277

4. Mr. Ifdhal KasimChairpersonKOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B MentengJakarta Pusat 10310INDONESIATel: +62 21 3925230Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227

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