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Aceh Ulama arrested for rejecting extension of martial law

Fpdra.com - April 16, 2004

Alisa P, Bireun – An Aceh Ulama (Islamic religious leader), Teuku Haji Aldelani, the son-in-law of the most outspoken Ulama in Aceh, T.H. Abu Tuming, has been arrested by the emergency military command (PDMD) for leading a delegation of Aceh Ulamas to meet with the coordinating minister of politics and security in Jakarta a short time ago. The delegation urged that martial law in Aceh be revoked.

At the time of going to press, the whereabouts of Aldelani is still unknown. Prior to this, there were also Ulamas who came to Jakarta to asked that martial law be extended, but they not arrested by the Free Aceh Movement and yet the Ulamas who are asking for martial law to be revoked continue to be arrested by the military.

So far the PDMD has not informed the press of the arrests. Suspected to be linked to this case, on Monday April 14, the interim coordinating minister for politics and security, Hari Sabarno, who is acting as the head of the body overseeing martial law in Aceh sent a confidential telegram to the PDMD in Aceh to report to him all steps taken buy the PDMD. Copies were also sent to President Megawati Sukarnoputri, the minister of home affairs and a number of related government officials in Jakarta and Banda Aceh.

A number of parties have expressed regret over the PDMD’s arrest of the charismatic Ulama, and this proves that the PDMD does not wish to have the people of Aceh to express opposition to martial law, especially Ulamas. FPDRA (Acehnese People’s Democratic Resistance Front) is also extremely disappointed with the mass media who have not carried any reports on the arrest.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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