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Marsinah killed by Sidoarjo military

SiaR - June 19, 1998

Surabaya – The [truth about the] killing of a worker activist, Marsinah, in 1993 is to be revealed. A source at the East Java police has said that from the results of the investigation of Captain Kusaeri, previously with the Porong military command, Sidoarjo, is that he has admitted that Marsinah was tortured and killed at Kodim (District Military Command) Sidoarjo, on May 5, 1993.

After being killed, her body was dumped in the Nampo village, Saradan, Madiun [East Java]. Marsinah's body was found in Nganjuk [200 kilometres from the factory where she worked] because it was moved by a police patrol who thought she was a vagrant.

Kusaeri, was tried by a military court who charged him, along with nine other defendants including the head of PT Catur Putra Surya (CPS), a watch factory where she worked, with the murder. The other dependents were released by the Supreme Court headed by Adi Andojo, although Kusaeri himself, has admitted to police that he feels victimise on the grounds that he was judged to be at fault.

Yudi Susanto, the director of CPS and eight others, including Mutiari, the CPS personal manager, who was half-way though a pregnancy, were abducted by Brawijaya military intelligence. With the exception of Mutiari, they were all tortured by electric shocks to their genitals, beaten, kicked, forced to eat their vomit and their pubic hair burnt in order to force them to admit to their involvement in Marsinah's murder.

For 19 days they were held at the Kodam (Regional Military Command) headquarters until police informed their families on the 20th day. The police, as usual, did not admit that they were held by Kodam, instead, because they were afraid of Kodam, they said that they were the ones who had arrested the nine suspects.

The police were eventually brought to trial and the judge found against the police for detaining the nine defendants for 19 days without an arrest warrant. In fact, police had never arrested or detained the suspects.

This time, Kusaeri's admission will reopen the Marsinah case. Sources at the East Java police say that they are going to investigate Captain Sugeng, Sargent Karnadi and Corporal Buseri, staff at Kodim Sidoardjo, who had said that it was Kusaeri who tortured and murdered Marsinah. The investigation should also included Lieutenant Colonel Max Salaki, the commander of Kodim Sidoarjo at that time. The brutal investigation by intelligence agents at the Kodam V Brawijaya, in torturing Yudi Susanto and his friends for 19 days, must also be carried out by Kodam Brawijaya.

[Translated by James Balowski]