Hunted activists need support

Wednesday, August 14, 1996

Hunted activists need support

Activists of the PRD are being hunted down, but the dictatorship's forces have not yet been able to capture any leaders. The only PRD leaders in jail at the moment are those arrested on July 8 at a 20,000-strong workers' rally in Surabaya. These are Dita Sari, president of the Indonesian Centre for Labour Struggles, and Coen Hussein Pontoh from the National Peasants Union.

PRD activists have been in the forefront of solidarity with East Timor, the workers' movement and the pro-democracy movement. They have now been forced underground by orders from the armed forces command to round up all PRD personnel. All reports indicate, however, that the organisation remains intact. The head of Students in Solidarity with Democracy in Indonesia (SMID) is reported to have issued a clandestine statement over a student radio station, even after the crackdown order.

The PRD needs our support. Financial assistance is needed for the defence campaigns of Dita Sari and Coen Hussein Pontoh and as well as to help the activists survive and carry on their work while they have to leave jobs or give up contacts with their families.

ASIET (Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor) is establishing an Indonesian Activist Defence Fund to assist the activists. To support the democracy movement, send donations to: ASIET National Secretariat, PO Box 458, Broadway NSW 2007.