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Workers and activists criminalised after being assaulted by police

Solidarity Net - February 7, 2016

Jakarta – As many as 23 workers, a student and two Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) officials have been named suspects in relation to an October 30, 2015 action that ended with police attacking workers. Despite the assaults, the Metro Jaya regional police are instead charging the workers and activists as provocateurs.

LBH Jakarta public defender Maruli Tua believes that the naming of the activists is a form of criminalisation by police and ads to the long list of earlier cases that befell leaders of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) such as KPK investigator Novel Baswedan and KPK commissioners Bambang Widjianto and Abraham Samad.

"The cases of Tigor (public defender) and Obed (assistant public defender) will now be handed over to the Attorney General's Office. Tigor and Obed who documented and were at the workers' action on October 30, 2015 have been named suspects along with 23 other workers", explained Maruli.

LBH Jakarta along with trade unions and other civil society organisations will fight this attempt at criminalisation.

Those who are being criminalised have already received summonses as suspects, including Confederation of Indonesian Trade Unions (KSPI) General Secretary Muhammad Rusdi who received a summons on Wednesday, February 3 requesting that he present himself for questioning on February 10.

Meanwhile the status of the command vehicle belonging to workers that was seized by the Metro Jaya regional police is still unclear and may be used as evidence.

This raises big questions about why the workers, who were assaulted and injured, their command vehicle damaged and fired on with tear gas, who were arrested after being injured during the October 30 action, are the ones who have been named suspects and face legal action. Meanwhile no action has been taken against the police who committed the assaults.

As reported, on October 30 last year the Indonesian Labour Movement (GBI) held an action opposing Government Regulation Number 78/2015 on wages. This regulation determines annual wages increases based on the inflation rate and economic growth according to the National Statistics Agency's (BPS). Based on this formula, wage increases for 2016 have been set at no more than 11.5 percent.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Buruh dan Aktivis Korban Pemukulan Polisi Malah Dijadikan Tersangka.]

Source: http://solidaritas.net/2016/02/buruh-dan-aktivis-korban-pemukulan-polisi-malah-dijadikan-tersangka.html.

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