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Indonesia arrests publisher of book by former politician

Dow Jones News - March 21, 1997

Jakarta – An aide to a prominent former legislator has been arrested on charges of publishing a banned book by his boss that authorities say insults President Suharto, police said Friday.

Buyung Rachmat Buchori Nasution also is accused of distributing illegal pamphlets, said Jakarta police spokesman Lt. Col. Edward Aritonang. Nasution works for Subadio, who was a legislator during Indonesia's parliamentary democracy period in the 1950s.

Suharto, a former army general, and his 'New Order' government took power in 1966. Subadio's book, 'New Era - New Leader: Badio Rejects the Scheme of the New Order Regime,' was banned this month, and authorities ordered its 5,000 published copies confiscated. The contents are not known, but it is believed to have accused Suharto of allowing corruption and nepotism, and of using the military to stifle democracy in Indonesia.

Nasution is accused of giving directions to the printer of the 22-page book, and of distributing thousands of copies of the text, plus unspecified materials that insult the president. Aritonang said he was wanted since January on charges of distributing illegal pamphlets. 'We wanted him long before the book was banned,' Aritonang said.