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Papernas to lodge complaint over New Order style harassment

Jawa Pos - April 17, 2007

Kendal -- In the aftermath of the forced adjournment of a regional conference of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas), Papernasí Kendal regional leadership board (DPD) intends to report the incident to the Central Java regional police. They believe that the actions by police in creating difficulties over a permit and the adjournment of the event is evidence that the police are not acting independently and that there was interference by the TNI (Indonesian military) similar to that which used to occurred under New Order dictatorship of former President Suharto.

During a press conference yesterday, Kendal DPD Chairperson Azharudin said that police should not have made a problem over obtaining a permit for the event. How was it that there were problems when there were to be only 22 participants or less than 50 people at the event. "We will lodge a report with the Central Java regional police because in accordance with Law Number 9/1998 an event with less than 50 participants should not be obliged to obtain a permit", he said.

Moreover he said, three days before the event on Wednesday April 11, Papernas sent a letter of notification to the Kendal district police. However the officer who received it failed to provide a receipt of notification (STTP) and said that they had to consult with the Kendal district police over the matter.

"The police's lack of seriousness in the various procedure to obtaining a permit and security for Papernas is tangible evidence of TNI intervention in police affairs who are interfering in political and civil rights", added Azharudin.

Azharudin said that police had admitted that there was certain agency behind the forced adjournment up of the regional conference late last week, that is the District Military Command (Kodim) that wanted to obstruct the event by the party that has put forward the name of labour activist Dita Indah Sari as a candidate for the 2009 presidential elections. Officials from Kodim O715 Kendal as well as the Kendal district police have denied this however. The commander of Kodim O715 Kendal, Cavalry Lieutenant Colonel Widhioseno said that the forced adjournment of the Papernas conference was entirely under the authority of the police.

FPI threats

Three days before the conference, Papernas also received an SMS from someone claiming to represent the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). The message from cell phone number 081384555XXX said that the FPI had held a meeting and would an attack the Papernas' Kendal regional conference if it went ahead.

"The SMS was sent to the hotel management whose hotel was also threatened with attack if the regional conference still went ahead", said Azharudin. According to Azharudin, since then it was not members of the FPI that approached them but security personnel, either officials of the National Unity and Social Protection Agency, the district police or Kodim.

Since Papernas was established, the party's events have indeed come under frequent attack by groups who accuse Papernas of being a new form of communism Several events have been attacked including a regional conference in East Java, the partyís founding congress in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta and a declaration in Jakarta on March 29. (sof/Jon)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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