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Activists call on government to solve Marsinah murder case

Liputan 6 - May 7, 2012

Rochmanuddin, Jakarta Ė The Marsinah FM Radio Community together with the Free Women National Committee (KNPM), the Cross-Factory Labour Forum (FBLP), the Indonesian Trade Union Congress Alliance (Kasbi), the Solidarity Alliance for Labour Struggle-United Indonesian Labour Movement (GSPB-PPBI) and the Student Struggle Center for National Liberation (Pembebasan) is urging the government to immediately resolve the Marsinah murder case.

"We demand that the government immediately and fully resolve the Marsinah case and arrest all those who have interfered with or concealed material evidence in the Marsinah case", said KNPM public relations officer Vivi Widyawati at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) offices in Central Jakarta on Monday May 7.

They are also urging the government to immediately try all human rights criminals and the perpetrators of sexual violence during the New Order regime of former President Suharto. In addition to this, they are demanding that the government disband the Indonesian military's (TNI) territorial commands, which they said are used as an institution of terror against the people.

"All of the efforts that were carried out failed because none of the governments in the reformasi (the reform process beginning in 1998) era have had the will to seriously resolve the Marsinah case. Marsinah represents an illustration of women workers who have become the victims of collaboration between employees and the military", said Vivi.

After 14 years of reformasi and 19 years since her murder, the Marsinah case is still being neglected. Marsinah's grave has been exhumed three times and a fact finding team formed, but the case has never been resolved. Moreover in 2002 the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) attempted to reopen the Marsinah case but failed to reveal the real killer.

On May 8, 1993, Marsinah's body was found sprawled in a hut on the edge of a rice paddy near a teak forest in the Jegong hamlet, Wilangan village, Nganjuk regency. Her body was discovered four days after she disappeared on May 5.

Her death followed an altercation with the Sidoarjo district military command (Kodim) after the military arrested 13 of her colleagues. She had also been threatened physically and psychologically.

It is believed that in addition to suffering physical injuries she was also abused sexually before being killed. Her body was found with numerous injuries, abrasion on her wrists as a result of being bound and her pelvic bone and vagina damaged. (AIS)


Marsinah was a women activist who led a strike at the PT Catur Putra Surya watch factory in Surabaya, East Java. On May 8, 1993, three days after the strike, her body was found in a remote hut. The medical examination found that she had died as a result of injuries inflicted during torture. Although there was considerable circumstantial evidence that she had been kidnapped and killed by the military, in 1994 nine managerial personnel and security guards from the factory were tried and convicted of the murder. All of the defendants claimed that they had been tortured in order to extract confessions. On May 5, 1995, all nine were released.

[Pemerintah Diminta Usut Kasus Marsinah - Liputan6.com. 07/05/2012. Translated by James Balowski.]

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