Indonesia: Open statement condemning massive attack against freedom of expression

The following statement was issued in Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 24, 2015):

Indonesia's freedom of expression and critical thinking are under attack. Series of repressive and violent acts by the authorities against attempts to critically revisit and review the 1965 communist purge for the betterment of the nation and its people are a strong proof that the totalitarian legacy from the New Order Regime is still alive and kicking.

Suharto may be gone but the guards of the old regime are still watching the people's move, and in many cases, launching oppressive action to shut down people's freedom.

In just one week, we have seen numbers of evidence.

Indonesia's freedom of expression and critical thinking are under attack. Series of repressive and violent acts by the authorities against attempts to critically revisit and review the 1965 communist purge for the betterment of the nation and its people are a strong proof that the totalitarian legacy from the New Order Regime is still alive and kicking.

Suharto may be gone but the guards of the old regime are still watching the people's move, and in many cases, launching oppressive action to shut down people's freedom.

In just one week, we have seen numbers of evidence.

The recent arbitrary arrest, as well deportation and blacklist of Tom Iljas in Sumatra by local police and immigration for visiting his father's grave – the victims of the 1965 mass murders – is a blatant
example of such New Order spirit, a state crime against its own citizens. The subsequent terror against Tom Iljas's family by respective village chief and sub-district head shows the die-hard sick
mentality of state officials.

Then The Lentera student magazine was forced to withdraw its latest edition from circulation for publishing stories about the 1965 killings in Salatiga, Central Java. Three the university students were taken to the police station and interrogated.

We have also witnessed other events that discussed different aspects of 1965 being cancelled or attacked both by civilians or law enforcers in different parts of Indonesia (Banyuwangi, Solo, Bukittinggi etc.). Theseincidents are definite proofs of threat and absence of protection to freedom of expression in Indonesia.

‎And most recently, the fact that Ubud Writers and Readers Festival has also been intimidated by local and national authorities to cancel anyprograms related to the 1965 mass killings is a testament that the stateofficials are watching the citizens' every move, and also highlightincreasing repression against civilians and creativity.

We,writers, journalists, artists and activists, join together to condemnthis growing repression against people's freedom of expression and the shutting down of critical thinking by using New Order Regime's repressive ways.

We urge:

1. Indonesian Police and their officers at provincial, district and sub-district level, especially in Bali, Salatiga and Padang to respect people's constitutional and basic rights for freedom of expression. They must stop any action to ban or cancel any discussion or seminar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 tragedy because all discussion and discourse about the upheaval must be seen as a part of national reconciliation, which has been pledged by President Joko Widodo's administration.

2. Reject and cancel any immigration measure (deportation, blacklist) against Tom Iljas, based on the fact that Tom Iljas and his family are innocent and have not committed any legal or immigration-related violations.

3. President Joko Widodo and Indonesian Government together with local authorities to provide protection and guarantee the safety of those who wish and plan to discuss, review and investigate the 1965 tragedy from all kinds of censorship, intimidation and terrors

4. Groups and individuals who have been involved in violent acts against discussions on the1965 tragedy to restrain themselves and open dialogue to allow for the peaceful solution of the national tragedy.

We believe that after 50 years the nation urgently needs an open, transparent and honest investigation and discussions on the 1965 Communist mass murder and its aftermath events that have claimed millions of lives and brought misery to millions of others.

The family of the victims must receive justice they deserve to get, while we believe that it's best for the institutions allegedly involved in the crimes to clean their name once and for all to allow them embrace the better future. It's the best interest of the nation and its people if the massacre is cleared from surrounding dust and that justice is given to both the perpetrators and victims.

For comment, contact:
Abdul Khalik - Founder ASEAN Literary Festival/Journalist - (+6281317212838)
Yulia Evina Bhara - Director Partisipasi Indonesia - (+6281282275648)
Tunggal Pawestri - Women's rights activist - (+628174962666)

Initial signatories
(to add you name email Yulia Evina Bhara):

Okky Madasari – Writer/ Founder of ASEAN Literary Festival
Faiza Marzoeki – Playwright, Theater Producer and Director of Institut Ungu
Aquino Hayunta –Indonesian Art Coalition
Tunggal Pawestri - BITES
Yulia Evina Bhara – Partisipasi Indonesia
Dhyta Caturani - Activist
Felencia Hutabarat - Indonesian Art Coalition
Damar Juniarto – Social Blogger
Abdul Khalik – Journalist/Founder of ASEAN Literary Festival
Joshua Oppenheimer – Filmmaker
Iin Purwanti – Alumni of FIB UI
Amerta Kusuma – KawanKawan Film
Fanny Chotimah – Writer/Filmmaker
Mary Farrow – Activist/Coordinator of Emerald Community House Australia
Yuliana Sandy Aryani – Alumni of FIB UI
Yerry Wirawan – Alumni of FIB UI
Musita Hartanti – Alumni of FIB UI
Umar Idris - Alumni of FIB UI/Journalist
Bonnie Triyana,- Chief Editor Historia Magazine.
Amatul Rayyani Siddiqah – Journalist
Atmakusumah Astraatmadja – Press Observer/Lecturer on Journalism
Vivi Widyawati – Politik Rakyat
Mutiara Ika Pratiwi – Perempuan Mahardhika
Aryo Wisanggeni – AJI Indonesia
Arfi Bambani - AJI Indonesia
Yudi Adiyatna - Youth Pro Active TII
Grace Tobing - Indonesia Against Human Trafficking (FIGHT)
Iman D Nugroho - AJI Indonesia
Afra Suci Ramadhan – Pamflet
Nabilla Reysa - Pamflet
Niesrina Nadhifah – Kontras
Amira Hasna - Youth Rights Now
Qory Dellasera – Activist
Annayu Maharani - Indonesian Art Coalition
Oming Putri - Indonesian Art Coalition
Abduh Aziz - Indonesian Art Coalition
Indah Yusari – Pamflet
Justian Edwin - Pamflet
Ardi Yunanto - visual artist
Qorihani - ALumni of Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Indonesia
Muhammad Faisal Bustamam - Videomaker/Activist
Veronica Iswinahyu - Activist
Prathiwi W. Putri - pecinta Kampung Kota
Rahung Nasution - food culture activist & videomaker
Wilson Obrigados - Writer
Yasmin Purba - YLBHI
Mugiyanto – INFID
Wisnu Surya Pratama - Film maker
Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni - Filmmaker
Dinda Nuurannisaa Yura - Women's Rights Activist
Sinnal Blegur - Perkumpulan Praxis
Ibeth Koesrini -Activist
Kurnia Yudha F - Filmmaker
Efi Sri Handayani - Filmmaker
Vera Lestafa - Filmmaker
Shelly W.M - Activist
Agnes Gurning - Activist
Lukman Simbah - citizen
Zico Mulia - citizen
Isti Komah - Nawit Women Group
Yolandri Simanjuntak - citizen
Shinta Miranda - writer
Soe Tjen Marching - writer and activist
Dede Dyandoko Kendro - citizen
Kurniawan- Journalist
Ranggoaini Jahja - Activist
Ririn Sefsani - Small Earth Community
Arman Dhani - Writer
Asfinawati - Public lawyer
Gustaff H Iskandar - Common room
Wenny Mustikasari - citizen
Andreas iswinarto - Galeri Lentera Pembebasan
Ajar Pamungkas - Warga Yogyakarta
Jess Melvin - The University of Melbourne, Australia
Christina Yulita - citizen
Dolorosa Sinaga - Artist/Lecturer Faculty of Fine Art of Jakarta Institute of the Arts
Elisabeth Ida Mulyani - Artist, Belgium
Kresna Astraatmadja
Todung Mulya Lubis - Lawyer
Josefin Morge - Chairperson VIF, Left Forum Sweden
Brad Simpson - Historian, University of Connecticut, USA
Peter Boyle, Green Left Weekly, Australia
Debbie Prabawati - Activist/Researcher
Jeffrey
A. Winters - Professor of Politics/Director of the Equality Development
and Globalization Studies (EDGS) Program Northwestern University, USA
Tamara Pearson - Journalist/Author of The Butterfly Prison
Tom Iljas - Sweden
Joanne Faulkner - Lecturer in Women's and Gender Studies, UNSW, Australia
John Pilger - Writer/Filmmaker/Journalist
Pip Hinman - Journalist/Activist Australia
Professor Ariel Heryanto - Australia
Grace Leksana - Institut Sejarah Sosial Indonesia
Dr. Max Lane - Melbourne, Australia
Imelda Liliyanti - ILUNI FIB UI
Ratu Febriana Erawati - ILUNI FIB UI
Jemma Purdey - Herb Feith Foundation
Herlambang P. Wiratraman - Coordinator Serikat Pengajar HAM Indonesia
Chris Nash - Journalism Professor, Monash University, Australia
Wendy Bacon - Journalist, Australia
Signe Byrge Sørensen - Filmmaker, Denmark
Max White - Amnesty International, USA
Saskia Wieringa - Professor and Writer
Stanley Adi Prasetyo - Journalist
Andreas Harsono - Human Rights Watch researcher on Indonesia
Mery Kolimon - Koordinator Jaringan Perempuan Indonesia Timur
Bilven-Ultimus
Dr Annie Pohlman - The University of Queensland, Australia
Ayu Wahyuniengroem - University of Indonesia
Raihana Diani - Acehnese
Soraya Oktaviani - Indonesia untuk Kemanusiaan
Brad Adams - Asia Director, Human Rights Watch
Dodi Yuniar - Asia Justice and Rights
Sangdenai - Freelance Writer
Edo Wulia - minikino.org
Tria Nin - Writer
Lini Zurlia - Activist
Anggun Pradesha - SWARA
Data RB - nefos.org
Kartika Pratiwi - Kotakhitam Forum
Shita Laksmi - ICT and Open Governance Activist
Dewi Chandraningrum - Lecturer, writer, academic
A. Dananjaya - Kotakhitam Forum
Dimas D Saputra - Kotakhitam Forum
Aquido Adri - Kotakhitam Forum
Kyq Sallata - Kotakhitam Forum
Berto Tukan - Writer and cultural activist
Olin Monteiro - Activist
Afnaldi Syaiful - Activist
Anton Muhajir - Blogger
Tri Em - citizen
Eddi Prayitno - Indonesia Center of Deradicalism and Wisdom
Dr Jordana Silverstein- Historian, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr Ian Wilson - Academic, Murdoch University, Australia
Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, Chair, YLBHI Board of Trustee
Ellin Rozana - Institut Perempuan
Whisnu Yonar - Activist
Bivitri Susanti - Legal Reform Activist/Academician

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