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Activists arrested, taken away at night reminiscent of Suharto dictatorship

Kompas.com - September 27, 2019

Fitria Chusna Farisa, Jakarta – Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Deputy Coordinator Feri Kusuma believes that the arrest of filmmaker and journalists Dandhy Dwi Laksono and musician Ananda Badudu is reminiscent of how the country was before the era of reformasi – the reform process that began in 1998.

This is because Laksono was arrested and taken away by police in the middle of the night, while Badudu was picked up by police early in the morning.

"A situation like this sometimes reminds us of the past, people being picked up in their homes in the middle of the night, [officers] claiming to be from division A for example, then the next day there is no information about their whereabouts", Kusuma told Kompas.com on Friday September 27.

Kusuma said that the middle of the night and early morning is not the right time to conduct arrests because both those being arrested, the police as well as lawyers all end up being exhausted.

And the mental state of the people involved won't be stable and as a consequence emotions also tend to get out of control. "Levels of concentration are also low so it's not too effective for the interrogation process", said Kusuma.

Not only that, according to Kusuma these kinds of arrests have a psychological impact on broader society. And it is not impossible that in the future the public will be afraid to criticise the government.

Because of this therefore, Kusuma hopes that in the future, if supposing police do want to make an arrest, it can be done in a more appropriate manner.

"We hope that they will do it properly, if there is an arrest that there is a notification of the arrest, that their lawyers be informed, that they be able to be visited by their families", said Kusuma.

Earlier the Metro Jaya regional police arrested Laksono on the evening of Thursday September 26. Several hours later Badudu was arrested at his home on Friday morning.

Laksono has been charged of violating Article 28 Paragraph (2) in conjunction with Article 45A Paragraph (2) of the Electronic Transaction and Information Law (UU ITE) and has been declared a suspect.

Badudu meanwhile was arrested in connection with money collected through social media and channeled to assist students protesting the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP) and the revised Corruption Eradication Commission Law (UU KPK) in front of the House of Representatives on Tuesday and Thursday.

Badudu is known to have initiated the public collection of funds to support the student movement through the crowd-sourcing website Kitabisa.com [https://kitabisa.com/campaign/aspirasimahasiswa]. Both Laksono and Badudu have since been allowed to return home.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kontras: Penangkapan Dandhy dan Ananda Mengingatkan pada Masa Lalu".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2019/09/27/16054431/kontras-penangkapan-dandhy-dan-ananda-mengingatkan-pada-masa-lalu