Indonesia: PRD activists still in hospital



PRD activists still in hospital

By Emily Citkowski

JAKARTA — On July 1, 36 activists were hospitalised after a peaceful demonstration outside the office of the electoral commission (KPU) organised by the People's Democratic Party (PRD) was attacked by Indonesian police. Seven of the injured were shot with rubber coated bullets.

Five people remain in hospital. PRD activist Iwan remains in traction after two police officers held his arms while a third broke his leg by beating him with a wooden club. Charles Panji was shot in the pelvis, the bullet lodging in his spinal cord so he is unable to walk.

Adrian Sukarso was shot in the stomach and is still bleeding. Jeff Aries Linggau sustained major head injuries which has caused severe amnesia. He is able to talk but does not remember his name, his comrades or anything else. His recovery is expected to be slow.

Dhyta Caturani was shot in the back at point blank range and sustained serious injuries to her head and face after being kicked by the police. Her condition is slowly improving, but she is vomiting and unable sit up. Dhyta was visited in hospital by PRD labour leader Dita Sari just hours after she was released from prison (see article on page 2).

Fendry Panomban, Wiyono, Subur and Fitra Subrada remain in police custody on trumped up charges of possessing bows and arrows. The four were beaten by police, then arrested and interrogated without a lawyer.

Hendri Kuok, the PRD's representative to the KPU has been repeatedly terrorised by police authorities since the July 1 attack. Two hours after the attack police officers entered the KPU and attempted to take Kuok to a police station. He refused to go.

The police have launched a slander campaign against Kuok, telling journalists that he was responsible for the demonstration and for masterminding an attack on police. Kuok has been continually harassed by telephone, the callers making slurs about his ethnic Chinese origin. The PRD is concerned for Kuok's safety.

[Emily Citkowski is a member of Solidarity, a socialist-feminist organisation in the United States.]