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Youth committee demands release of subversion suspects

EBRI - April 2, 1997

A score of youths grouped in the Indonesian Youth Committee last week staged a demonstration in front of the Attorney General Office in Jakarta, demanding the release of Sri Bintang Pamungkas and his friends who are in the prosecution custody on charges of subversion.

The demonstrators waved some banners, which among others read: "Set free our friends." When an official of the attorney general office suggested that they sent in a deputation, they refused and continued to chant slogans and sing patriotic songs.

Bintang, chairman of the unaccredited Indonesian Democratic Union Party (PUDI), was arrested early in March along with PUDI vice chairman Julius Usman and the party's secretary general Saleh Abdullah. Both have refused to answer questions from the prosecution on the ground that they have not been informed of the exact accusations against them.

The youth committee then circulated a written statement, protesting Bintang's detainment. According to the statement, Bintang's arrest was baseless and indicated the arrogance of the Attorney General Office

"The warrant for the arrest should have specified the charges and the parties that have been put at a disadvantage by Bintang's political greeting cards," the statement said. In February, Bintang sent Idul Fitri greeting cards which contained PUDI's political agenda. In addition to demanding the release of Bintang, the youth committee also asked that law enforcers be consistent in their legal actions. For example, the committee expected clarity on the case of Eddy Tansil, a convict of bank credit swindling who escaped from prison last year.

"Make a thorough prosecution of those who eroded state treasury and uphold justice and legal certainty," the committee said. (EBRI/ss)