James Balowski – According to People's Democratic Party (PRD) sources, Dita Indah Sari, chair of the PRD-affiliated Centre for Labour Struggle, was released from hospital on November 28. Dita had been in intensive care at the Syaiful Anwar hospital in Malang, East Java since November 18, suffering from typhoid.
The PRD reported that although she has been returned to jail, she is still seriously ill and at risk of a relapse. It also said that her father had been forced to pay for her medicines.
Dita was sentenced to five years' jail for "subversion" on April 22. She is the only political prisoner in the Kebon Waru prison in Malang and, because access to outside information and visitors is severely restricted, her situation is worse than that of the other PRD prisoners.
As part of its campaign for pressure to be placed on the Suharto government to free the political prisoners, ASIET (Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor), in association with the PRD, has launched a new book about Dita titled Dita Sari: Jailed for Daring to Struggle.
Documenting her life and writings, it is the story of an activist, feminist and trade unionist who has dared to challenge the brutal Suharto dictatorship and whose courage, tireless struggle and self-sacrifice have won the respect of activists and ordinary Indonesians alike.
Meanwhile, a report by the Indonesian official radio station RRI that PRD chair Budiman Sujatmiko had escaped from jail, has proved to be untrue. How the story originated is still unclear. PRD sources say that he had simply been moved to a different cell.
ASIET is asking for donations for Dita's medical expenses to be sent to ASIET, which will arrange to send it to Indonesia. Dita Sari: Jailed for Daring to Struggle is available for $5 from the ASIET National Secretariat, PO Box 458, Broadway NSW 2007, phone (02) 9690 1032 or from any of ASIET's local committees.