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Yogyakarta activists question police commitment in Irshad Manji attack

Kompas - July 4, 2012

Yogyakarta Ė Scores of activists from the Yogyakarta Women's Network (JPY) in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta demonstrated at the regional police headquarters on Tuesday July 3.

They were expressing their disappointment with the Yogyakarta police's failure to take action against several mass organisations that forcibly broke up a discussion of a book by Irshad Manji on May 9 at the offices of the Institute for Islamic and Social Studies (LKIS).

the JPY's attorney from the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), Hamzal Wahyudin, said that exactly one day after the anarchistic incident the JPY and the LBH reported the case to the Yogyakarta police. They also presented five witnesses complete with evidence such as video recordings of the incident, photographs and media reports.

"We have now provided three additional witnesses. Yet why are the police instead asking us to cite who the perpetrators are. That should be the police's job", he said.

JPY representative Ika Yuni said that the forced breakup of the book discussion by Canadian author Irshad Manji occurred 50 days ago, yet the police have still not been unable to arrest the perpetrators. "We expect the Yogyakarta regional police to have the genuine will to fully investigate this case, particularly the intellectual actors behind the attack", she said.

According to the head the sub-district I Yogyakarta regional police criminal investigation bureau for state security, Deputy Senior Commissioner Djuhamdani, the Yogyakarta regional police have twice summoned witnesses over incident but they failed to turn up. "As long as no witnesses report [the incident], we can't process it", he explained.

Nevertheless, said Djuhamdani, the Yogyakarta police have a strong commitment to fully resolve the case.

Several members of the mass organisations that were involved have been questioned by police. They are members of several different groups including the Kabah Youth Movement (GPK, an Islamic group affiliated with United Development Party), the Anti-Maksiat Movement (Movement against Immorality/Violation of God's law, GAM) and the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI).

Tri Wahyu from the Yogyakarta People's Alliance against Violence (Aman Tenan) said that the forced breakup of the Irshad Manji book discussion was a simple case. Nevertheless, the police are giving the impression that they are reluctant to resolve the case.

"The police have proven themselves capable of uncovering terrorism cases that are far more complex. Meanwhile they have been slow in cracking this simple case. Yet there is an abundance of evidence and witnesses", he said. (ABK)

[Aktivis Pertanyakan Keseriusan Polisi Usut Pelaku - Kompas. Rabu, 04 Juli 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]

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