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UGM students who call for election boycott will be tried

Kompas - April 3, 1997 (Abridged)

Yogya korem commander Col Gaffar has said that the 24 students arrested while demonstrating on the Gadjah Mada University campus are now under investigation by the Yogya police. Those proven to be involved will be tried, he said. He said they are all UGM students; seven are women. Three who appear to have been leading the action are named as Vic, Kur and Tri. 'We wont try all of them of course. Those who are proven not to be involved will be released,' said Gaffar.

The anti-riot police entered the campus and arrested the 24, without incident, according to Kompas the previous day.

While the military commander was holding a press conference, another demonstration and a free-speech forum was going on at the same campus. Demands were made for the release of their 24 colleagues. An incident occurred when officers who were present on the boulevard of UGM campus pushed into the crowd of demonstrators and starting chasing them. Eight activists were arrested.

A press release signed by the chairperson of the UGM Students Publishing House Akuat Supriyanto and secretary Khoirul Rosyadi, said that violence was used as the arrests took place. Legal procedures were not observed and no one was given advanced warnings to stop. Several activists sustained bruises and scratches.

They really went too far, said Gaffar, calling for the release of Pakpahan, DBudiman and so on. If they had had ordinary posters they would not have been arrested but they were calling for an election boycott, which we regard as incitement. 'That's why we arrested them,' said Gaffar. They can face up to five years, he added, and that's why we are entitled to arrest them.