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Accusations that 1965 seminar a communist party declaration is a 'tired old joke'

Tempo - September 16, 2017

Chitra Paramaesti, Jakarta – The Red-and-White Militia (LMP) have been making speeches without a permit and causing an uproar in front of the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) offices in Central Jakarta.

The group accuses the LBH of holding a declaration of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) because it was to hold a historical seminar on 1965, which has now been postponed.

"The PKI is still being defended", said one of the protesters during a clash with police on Saturday September 16.

The LMP began by making speeches on the street alongside the LBH offices but one of the protesters, then followed by others, tried to force their way into the building. A clash broke out between police and demonstrators with each side pushing and shoving each other.

Responding to the protests LBH Director Alghiffari Aqsa said that the group's accusations are a tired old joke. "Its misleading information that [people] shouldn't believe, there is absolutely no evidence", he said.

Alghiffari explained that members of the Forum 65 were just holding a discussion at the LBH that was open to the public. "[Our] friends from the Forum 65 wanted to be open, so that the public could observe it", he said.

The Forum 65 is a forum for discussion and dialogue on the 1965 tragedy. Alghiffari said he regrets the event was closed down by Menteng sectoral police chief Deputy Senior Commissioner Ronald Purba without providing a written notification.

"They [the police] should be defending us, although we have decided to postpone [the event], this is a step back [for democracy]", said Alghiffari.

According to Alghiffari, the Menteng sectoral police have been stopping participants and seminar committee members from entering the LBH building since 6am. "Prohibiting discussions is the same as the Orba (the New Order era)", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Tuduhan Deklarasi PKI di Seminar Sejarah 1965, LBH: Guyonan Lama.]

Source: https://metro.tempo.co/read/news/2017/09/16/214909692/tuduhan-deklarasi-pki-di-seminar-sejarah-1965-lbh-guyonan-lama.

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