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Serial intimidation for the sake of G20

Tempo - November 15, 2022

Ilona Esterina Piri, Arya Prasetya (Intern), Jakarta – A number of events and discussions held in Bali were forced to be dismissed ahead of the G20 Summit this week.

On Monday, November 14, the discussion entitled 'Indonesian People's Meeting Against the G20' held by the Indonesia People's Assembly (IPA) with Udayana University students was disbanded allegedly by police officers in plain clothes.

The discussion on G20 which was deemed to be a waste of the state budget was banned due to the Udayana University Rector's Circular on PPKM that studies must be held online on November 12-17 and campus activities are limited for the summit.

PPKM is initially designed by the government in early 2021 to curb COVID-19 spread. However, the government reinforced the restrictions ahead of the summit and halted any activities deemed detrimental to the summit.

To date, Tempo was still trying to reach Udayana University. Deputy Rector 3 of Udayana University, Ngakan Putu Gede Suardana, has not yet responded to Tempo's request for confirmation regarding the various restrictions on activities at the campus.

Before the students' event, human rights activists faced intimidation during a meeting in Sanur. The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) with 18 legal aid institutions (LBH) held a meeting at a villa in Sanur, Bali, which was then forcibly disbanded by a group of people claiming to be pecalang (Bali's traditional security officers) last Saturday. Some of them were suspected to be police officers in plain clothes.

YLBHI General Chairperson, Muhammad Isnur, said their discussion in Sanur was indeed aimed at responding to the G20 which presented many conflicts and criminalization.

A week earlier, Greenpeace activists under the 'chasing the shadow' campaign, who were pedaling their way from Jakarta to Bali, were stopped by a group of people in Probolinggo, East Java. They were forced to stop the journey and the campaign.

Director of LBH-YLBHI Bali, Ni Kadek Vany, said all YLBHI and LBH representatives had returned to their respective regions. "The situation is no longer safe and we heard that they (activists) were sought by intelligence," said Vany.

Vany also mentioned other discussions that were dismissed by officers ahead of G20. Prior to the YLBHI event, the 350.id Indonesia, Navicula art discussion, and the Women's Summit were disbanded for the same reason.

Meanwhile, Bali Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Stefanus Satake Bayu said the disbandment of YLBHI's event was an initiative of local residents. He admitted that the police were at the location when the meeting was disbanded. "During the search, the police were just outside. They (police officers) came because people called them," he claimed.

Stefanus explained that pecalang dismissed any activity based on the Bali Governor's circular on PPKM during the G20. He also denied attempts of forced disbandment. "We are still cross-checking it," he said.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1657026/serial-intimidation-for-the-sake-of-g2