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People's Stage demands settlement of rights abuses, condemns political dynasties

CNN Indonesia - December 10, 2023

Jakarta – Former People's Democratic Party (PRD) general secretary Petrus Hariyanto has criticised the position of his colleague, former PRD chairperson Budiman Sudjatmiko, who seems to be asking that cases of past human rights violations be forgotten and to focus on Indonesia's future.

Hariyanto emphasised that past human rights abuses need to be fully resolved and cannot be allowed to be buried.

"So from this we are calling for past cases of human rights violations, past gross human rights violations, especially the [1997-98] abduction cases, not to be closed. Human rights cases must not be buried", said Hariyanto during a speech at the People's Stage concert titled "Bongkar" (to expose, dismantle, demolish) at the Madya Stadium in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex in Jakarta on Saturday December 9.

The concert was organised by the Alliance to Save Indonesian Democracy (ASDI) which featured performances by a number of musicians and speeches by several activist figures.

Hariyanto, who was seated in a wheelchair, expressed his feelings about the position taken by Sudjatmiko, who was his friend during the period of activism against the New Order regime.

In the 2024 presidential elections (Pilpres), Sudjatmiko is now supporting the number 2 presidential ticket of Greater Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairperson Prabowo Subianto and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka as his vice presidential candidate.

Hariyanto said that along with Sudjatmiko they managed to build a movement to resist the New Order regime led by former president Suharto until they were imprisoned together as political prisoners.

"We had to go to prison, some of our comrades were also killed, some of our comrades were also abducted", he said.

Hariyanto emphasised that he and the 1998 reformasi activists at the time have a debt to the past. For him, the past cases of gross human rights violations and abductions must be settled. He believes that there will be no bright future for the nation if past debts are not fully resolved.

"Return our friends. Reject the politics of impunity. Reject political dynasties. Reject corruption, reject nepotism, reject collusion. There is only one word, resist", he said.

Termites and cockroaches

Senior economist Faisal Basri took to the stage to say that there are parties who are forming swarms of monstrous termites and cockroaches with sharp fangs to build a kingdom through a political dynasty in Indonesia.

"To build a kingdom through dynastic politics. They are forming swarms of termites and cockroaches, whose sharp fangs will harass Indonesian homes", said Basri during his speech at the People's Stage.

Basri believes that Indonesia's current situation is increasingly worrying because it is being undermined by corrupt practices. He likened Indonesia to a house whose pillars are shaking because they have been attacked by what he referred to as termites and cockroaches.

Looking at these problems, Basri is asking the public not to stay silent and resist the practices of corruption and political dynasties. The aim being so that the pillars of the country are not increasingly fragile until they collapse.

"They are increasingly gnawing away at every corner of the house. Attacking the foundations, invading the pillars of our homes. Inevitably Indonesia's homes will become shaky as a result of their actions. We are all here to ensure that Indonesian homes do not head towards destruction, do not head towards collapse", he said.

Stop repression by the authorities

Elements from the ASDI took the opportunity to declare six points on their position in the lead up to the 2024 elections.

ASDI representative Aida Leonardo urging the state to restore the rights of communities and stop repression by the authorities against citizens who speak critically on matters such as human rights, the environment, women's rights or gender equality, customary rights and anti-corruption, as well as the issue of diversity.

The second position, said Leonardo, is that ASDI is urged the state to restore law enforcement against corruption, gross violations of human rights and ecological crimes.

"Vote for leaders at all levels that understand human rights, have a high level of integrity, do not have a track record of committing human rights violations, that have inclusive power and uphold equality", said Leonardo in the third point of the statement.

Leonardo also asked that the state stop all forms of the use of law enforcement officials for all sorts of things, except for honest, fair and dignified law enforcement.

The fifth point, said Leonardo, is that they are asking the state to restore the integrity of the House of Representatives (DPR), and stop using the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Constitutional Court for the benefit of families and their own groups.

"Safeguard elections that are honest, fair, peaceful, dignified and inclusive", said Leonardo.

Songs and poetry

A number of musicians and social figure also performed on the People's Stage.

They included Fajar Merah, the son of poet Wiji Thukul who was abducted by the New Order and remains missing to this day, the youngest daughter of Indonesia's fourth president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, Inayah Wahid, and musicians from the ethnic group Horja Bius, Once, Gugun Blues Shelter, Iwa K, Doms Dee and Dhea Siregar. Also performing was Marjinal, Pas Band, Endank Soekamti, Kotak and Jamrud.

Merah, in one of his presentations on the stage, read out a poem by his father titled "Momok Hiyong", which contains criticisms of the misuse of power by the authorities who darken the future of the ordinary people.

"Fond of gold, fond of forests/Fond of seats, fond of life/Extraordinary/The homeland is pawned off", read an excerpt from the poem read by Merah. (rzr/kid)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Panggung 'Bongkar' Kritik Politik Dinasti dan Desak Usut Kasus HAM".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20231210030731-20-1035190/panggung-bongkar-kritik-politik-dinasti-dan-desak-usut-kasus-ha