Arrests of SMID activists in Indonesia

Most sensitive to all forms of repression and economic, political and cultural stagnation,the educated, the intellectuals, are an asset of a nation. In Indonesia, however, those critical, those who differ with the authorities, must be prepared for eventual imprisonment. This is what has happened to SMID activists, who had vigorously and courageously criticised the political system of the New Order, whose sole concern is clinging to power.
In connection with the recent 27th July incident, activists of SMID, an organisation affiliated to PRD, were hunted down by the military authorities, who wanted to arrest them. Legal clauses dealing with subversion are being applied to them. This means that they are liable to 20 year imprisonment and even to death sentences. Those SMID's pro-democracy fighters who have been arrested and now being kept in detention are:

A. SMID's Yogyakarta branch.

1. Sukarni Budi Kasih (fem./of Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta). Known by her nickname Barnie among friends and local activists , she is a 21-year old student at the discipline of history, 1994 class. She has engaged herself in various activities to uphold students' political rights. Since 1995 she has been member of SMID and arrested several times, as was the case, for instance, when she joined in an action in solidarity with East-Timor at the premises of the Dutch Embassy on 7th December 1995. She led SMID's national action against the Ujung Pandan slaughter, against the banning of Tempo magazine. She was also active in support of the PDI's central council led by Megawati Sukarnoputri.
On Tuesday, 6th August 1996 she was arrested by the military resort command 072/Pamungkas headed by Infantry colonel Abdul Rahman. Both the Yogyakarta regional and the Central Java provincial police have announced the detention of some SMID activists. Sukarni Budi Kasih failed to be flanked by lawyers when she was questioned.
SMID also stands for equal position in politics for women and men, maintaining that only by political education and fighting together with the people, can women contribute to the eradication of vestiges of feudal culture.

B. SMID's branch in Surakarta (Solo)

1. Syamsuk Bahri (11th March University, Surakarta) Syamsul Bahri (23) is a student of the university's economic faculty, 1993 class. He has been actively involved in the struggle for students' political rights and democracy, taken part in students' actions in Surakarta as well as in struggles by the people, including the action by 14,000 workers of PT Sritex on 11h December 1995. It was as he was taking part in obligatory social action internships for advanced students in a rural area,in the subdistrict of Toroh, Grobogan district (Central Java) that he was arrested by Police Colonel Ansyaad Mbai, acting on a piece of information provided by the university head's office. After being interrogated and signing a verbal official report at the Yogyakarta and Surakarta regional police hedquarters, he was, in connection with the 27th July disturbances, delivered to the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Police. Anti-subversion legal clauses were to be applied to him, which could carry sentences of 20 years in prison or even life imprisonment.

2. Didit Sutopo (11th March University, Surakarta) Didit Sutopo (23) studies history, at the Faculty of Literature. He has been active in the students' movement, being aware that the students' political rights and democracy have been emasculated by the authorities. He has been much involved in actions for students' political rights as well as in joint struggles with the people, as with peasants and workers. The action by workers of the PT Sritex in Solo on 11th December 1995 was a case in point.
He was arrested in his boarding house on 5t August 1996 by Colonel Ansyaad Mbai of the Central Java Police detectives' section. During his detention and his interrogation he was deprived of his right to be flanked by a lawyer. He, too, is subjected to the application of anti-subversion legal articles, for which he could be sentenced to 20 years or life imprisonment.

3. Budi Pratomo (Muhamadiyah University, Yogyakarta) He was arrested by a team of detectives of the Central Java police on 6th July 1996. After detention by the Surakarta territorial police, he was handed over to the Jakarta metropolitan police. He was also denied the right to get legal assistance from a lawyer during the process of interrogation as well as when a verbal official report was being made on him. According to Munir, secretary of the operational section of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute(YLBHI), Budi Pratomo, as has Syamsul Bahri, has officialy been made chief suspects. Both have now received warrants of detention. It was stated in the warrants, Munir said, that the causes leaading to both students being turned into chief suspects was their being were suspected of having comitted "the criminal act of insulting the President, of making pronouncements of hostility towards and hatred of the government" when they were speaking on a free speech platform at (the premises of PDI) at Diponegoro boulevard, Jakarta. Both were subjected to application of clauses of Subversion Law PNPS/11/1963 and articles 134, 154 and 207 of the Criminal Code. Of the five persons arrested, Munir declared, Hasanuddin and Syafei Kadarusman had been released.

c. Surabaya branch of SMID

1. Lisa Febrianti (Airlangga University, Surabaya) This brave girl, nicknamed Icha (23) studies at the university's faculty of social and political sciences and is secretary of the SMID's Surabaya branch organisation. She has been much involved in struggles for students' political rights and for democracy. She was arrested on 8th July 1996, when taking part in an action by 20 thousand workers in Surabaya. She has been a strong supporter of the leadership of the PDI's central council headed by Megawati. She is a student well-known for her critical attitude in social and political matters. She was arrested by the East Java Bakortanasda (an official body coordinating the maintenance of national stability) headed by Brawijaya regional military commander Imam Utomo. The arrest of this activist has been confirmed by the chief of the body's public relations section, Lieut. Colonel Slamet Soebagio. Her arrest was made in the light of the 27th July disturbances in Jakarta. Asked by a journalist about the time and place of her arrest, he said "(you) need not know when and where she was arrested."

2. Zainal Abidin (Wijaya Kusuma University, Surabaya) Zainal Abidin (24) is a student militant who has taken an active part in struggles for students' rights and for democratic liberties. He had taken an active part in a peasants' action at Singosari, in a strike action by 20 thousand workers at Tandes, Surabaya, on 8th July. For his participationm he was ruthlessly mishandled by the military, so that he suffered from wounds on his head where 8 stitches had to be carried out. He was arrested at his home by men from Bakorstanasda. So far he has been kept in isolation. It is not clear where he is being detained, and neither journalists nor his lawyer have been able to see him. He, too, was arrested in connection with the 27th July disturbances in Jakarta.

3. Trio Johanes Muliate Marpaung (Airlangga University, Surabaya) Trio (23) is a student activist and a leading member of SMID's Surabaya branch organisation. Out of his great concern for the cause of democracy and human rights, he entered the political arena and joined SMID. He has taken part several times in mass actions in Surabaya. He has shown a high capability of mobility and a strong dedication to the organisation. According to him, his participation in workers' actions has given him the finest experience in struggle. Indeed, he was actively involved in a mass action by 4000 workers in March as well as in the action of 20 thousand workers later on in Surabaya.

4. Meantime 4 unidentified students and members of SMID have sought protection at the Surabaya office of the Indonesian Institute for Legal Aid (YLBHI), following attempts by plain-clothed men claiming themselves to be from the East Java Bakorstanada (under the Brawijaya military command). They wanted to arrest those students, but refused to produce the necessary warrants an to tell their identities.

D. SMID's Semarang branch

On 6th August 1996 security men of the Diponegoro regional military command, together with those from the municipal police and from the public prosecutor's office, stormed the SMID office in Tegalsari street, Candisari subdistrict, Semarang. A number of SMID activists were arrested in the process. Apart from that, what the officials could find there were only cooking utensils and some used household objects.

The following are data about women activists of the Democratic People's Party who are being detained by the New Orde military regime:

I. Dita Indah Sari (President of the Centre for Indonesian Workers'Struggle)

On the 8 July 1996, 20.000 workers of 10 factories were launching their actions in Surabaya (East Java). These actions were organised by the Democratic People's Party (PRD), which went peacefully, but were crashed brutally by the Indonesian Armed Forces. Clash was then unavoidably between supporters of PRD and the military. Hundreds of workers were wounded with holes in their heads, broken legs, in bruise, etc. Five of them should be brought to the hospital. Having satisfied through knocking those demonstators and some journalists, 24 PRD's activists were arrested by the military and were brought to the police headquaters of Surabaya (Mapoltabes). These 24 activists were then forced to put their signitures for a verbal-process without assisted by any lawyer. The military refused the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) to meet the activists. During the process the authority intimidated and even hit those activists.
Dita Sari, the President of the independent trade union the Centre for Indonesian Workers' Struggle (PPBI) was arrested while she was organising the actions.

Dita Sari, the President of PPBI was born in Jakarta on 30 December 1972 (she is 24 years old). She has once been student of the Law Faculty of the University of Indonesia. Then, she left the university for learning the struggle from the working class and following courses from the trade union. Being a woman she is known as a opposition figure of the pro democracy struggle and of the workers'struggle. Dita Sari is always actively participating the demonstrations against the regime. She has been frequently arrested during the workers'actions: on 10 January 1995 involving 1500 workers of PT Ganda Guna Indonesia; on 1 Mey 1995 during the World Labour Day Action in Jakarta; on 18 July 1995 in an action with 12.000 workers of PT Great River Industries; on 11 and 14 December 1995 in an action of 14.000 workers of PT Sritex in Solo; on 19 June 1996 while launching action at the People Assembly (DPR RI) involving 5000 workers of PT Indoshoes and Kingstones; and latestly during the joined-action involving 20.000 workers of 10 factories in Surabaya.

Dita Sari is also one of the functionarist at the head office of the Independent Committee for Monitoring the Election and is the head of the Operation Department. She is also active in organising actions for the Indonesian oppositions and for Megawati's supporters. She is a regular orator and is popular at the free public forum, held every day, at the head office of the Indonesia Democratic Party (PDI).

II. The Centre for Indonesian Workers' Struggle (PPBI) is an independent trade union and is established on 23 October 1994 in Ambarawa (Middle Java). The main programme of PPBI are as follows:

Rp. 7.000 (US$ 3.25) per day for Minimum National Wage; Stop Military Intervention and Freedom of Association. PPBI is actively involved in organising workers mass actions in Jabotabek, Solo, Semarang, Surabaya and Medan. PPBI is also active in educations for workers in different cities. While resisting, PPBI is also active pursuing political consciousness for workers sothat they actively involve in their struggle for democracy. For having committed in political struggle, PPBI, during the 2nd conggress in Yogyakarta, has been affiliated organisationally and politically with the PRD (Democratic People's Party). Workers of PPBI are also active being involved in launching actions supporting Megawati being held in Jakarta, Solo, Semarang, Medan and Surabaya. PPBI is also the founder and member of the Solidarity of the Indonesian People's Struggle for Maubere (SPRIM). Branches of PPBI have been yet established in North Jakarta, East Jakarta, Bogor, Tanggerang, Semarang, Solo, Gresik, Bangkalan, Mojokerto, Sidoardjo, Surabaya, Bangkalan, Lamongan, and Medan. For propaganda purposes, PPBI publishes Buruh Bergerak (Workers on the Move), Derap Perjuangan (Stream of Struggles) and Workers Banner (in English), also some phamplets for workers education.

In his pers release, the officer of the head office of Surabaya, Colonel Rifai Wirdjodihardjo, states, "... both can be charged having criminal conducts as regulated in the article 160 of KUHP (Criminal Codes)."(Kompas, 11 July 1996). While the military acuses them arbitrarily, the Fourth Commander of Brawijaya, Imam Utomo acuses PRD as intending to replace the 1945 Constitution and the state ideology Pancasila. The chief of general staff of the Indonesian Armed Forces Soeyono is of the opinion that "the Surabaya actions" is a subversion one." The chief of public relations of the Indonesian Armed Forces, Brigadier-General Amir Syarifudin states that the detention of activists should follow the legal procedure. All the above suspects violate the principle of "suspects should be viewed as innocents." .

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note: SMID is one of mass organistion of the PRD

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