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'Descend on Constitutional Court' student action thwarted by security forces

Kompas.id - February 2, 2024

Susana Rita Kumalasanti, Jakarta – An attempt by a group of students from the Anomaly Forum to approach the Constitutional Court building on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta on Friday February 2 has failed.

This was because the road to the Constitutional Court building from the nearby Horse Statue area had been blocked off by security forces with tall concrete barriers and razor wire.

The attempt by the student organisations to express their concerns over various problems in Indonesia, which culminated in constitutional misconduct by the Constitutional Court when it ruled on a judicial review on the age limit for presidential and vice presidential candidates, was stopped in front of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Sapta Pesona Building.

In the end, the 30 or so students and activists held a free speech forum in front of the concrete barriers.

"When 3 x 24 hours after we uploaded the call to descend on the Constitutional Court, it turns out we have been blocked by the length of the razor wire. This is evidence that democracy today is being increasingly manipulated", said Haikal Febriansyah from the Anomaly Forum on Friday.

The Anomaly Forum is movement of young people who support democracy in Indonesia and the world. The forum was founded by the heads of Student Executive Councils (BEM) from the Padjadjaran University, the Paramadina University and the University of Gajah Mada.

Present at the Anomaly Forum's "Descend on the Constitutional Court" action was Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid, Sumarsih, the mother of Bernardus Realino Norma Irmawan alias Wawan, a student who was shot dead during the Semanggi I incident in 1998, human rights activist Haris Azhar and others.

Gielbran M Noor from the Anomaly Forum said that he regretted the use of concrete walls to prevent them from reaching the Constitutional Court.

"This is certainly a concern for us all that the common people cannot access the Constitutional Court. A form of our concern and solidarity to jointly declare the truth in front of the Constitutional Court", said Noor.

Hamid revealed a number of constitutional deviations that have taken place in various forms. In addition to opening the way for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's eldest son Gibran Rakabuming Raka to advance as a vice presidential candidate following the Constructional Court's ruling on the age limit, other deviations, according to Hamid, include the weakening of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the General Elections Commission (KPU) and the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu), the misuse of law enforcement institutions to attack political opponents and the failure to resolve the problem of past human rights violations.

"Even more than that, Indonesia is likely facing the fact that one of the alleged human rights violators may become the future president of Indonesia", said the former member of the Fact Finding Team that investigated the Trisakti University and Semanggi student shootings in 1998, referring to presidential hopeful Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto.

Despite this, said Hamid, they will never give up because these crimes do not have expiry date. "We will continue to pursue and hunt down the perpetrators of gross human rights violators until they are tried and receive an appropriate punishment", he said.

Sumarsih, who was standing alongside Hamid, revealed that she is now demanding the implementation of a third reformasi agenda – referring to the political reform process that began in 1998 – namely upholding the supremacy of the law. One of the barometers in law enforcement is that the people responsible for cases of gross human rights violations are tried in court.

"I don't oppose reconciliation, but it must be clear in such reconciliation that there are two parties. There are victims, and there must be culprits", said Sumarsih.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Aksi Geruduk MK Gagal ke MK".]

Source: https://www.kompas.id/baca/polhuk/2024/02/02/aksi-geruduk-mk-gagal-ke-m