Kukuh S. Wibowo, Jakarta – Moh. Sholeh, Head of the Division of Research Development and Cooperation of the Surabaya Legal Aid Institute, confirmed that the coordination meeting of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) in Sanur, Bali, was intimidated by dozens of pecalang (Bali's traditional security officers).
The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon, November 12, 2022. It is suspected that the pecalang officers were not local residents.
"Up until now, the atmosphere is still tense," said Sholeh, who came to the meeting representing the Director of LBH Surabaya Wachid, when contacted on Sunday, November 13, 2022.
YLBHI meeting said to have nothing to do with G20 Summit
According to Sholeh, the incident began when the participants of the coordination meeting consisting of the central YLBHI management, the directors of the regional LBH and about 25 facilitators had just started the discussion session.
The meeting was held in the open pendopo (gazebo-like building) of a villa in the Sanur area. The agenda for the meeting, he said, was to discuss the political year 2023-2024. "The choice of (the meeting) place in Sanur was long ago, not related to the G20 Summit at all," he said.
Just as the meeting started, dozens of pecalang entered the courtyard of the villa. They tried to enter the pendopo, but were restrained by the meeting participants. Sholeh saw that there were police officers around the location, but they were only watching from outside the villa area. "The police are seen only monitoring the situation from outside," he said.
The pecalang, said Sholeh, demanded for the ID cards of the meeting participants to be recorded. However, YLBHI members were adamant that they would not submit their IDs. Finally, the pecalang asked for a statement that the coordination meeting activities were not related to the G20.
"We accepted the request, but regarding our identities, we didn't give it to them. It's dangerous if our data falls into their hands," said Sholeh.
However, the pecalang, who wore traditional Balinese security clothes, still forbid the residents or the guests of the villa to go out. The YLBHI meeting participants who did not stay at the villa were allowed to leave, including Sholeh. "But some of my friends from LBH finally changed their place of stay because they felt uncomfortable," he said.
Sunday afternoon at around 10:00 WITA (Central Indonesia Time), a number of directors of the regional LBH had left Bali because the agenda for the meeting was only until today. According to the flight schedule, they returned to their respective regions.
"We feel intimidated by the treatment of local officials and security forces," said Sholeh.
Until this news was published, Tempo is still trying to ask for explanations from the local security forces.