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Protesters in military fatigues disrupt Komnas HAM press conference

Detik News - April 12, 2013

Syarifah Nur Haida, Jakarta Ė Commissioners from the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) were startled when during a break in a Komnas HAM press conference on the Cebongan prison killings, demonstrators wearing military fatigues descended on Komnas HAM's office calling for the commission to be disbanded.

The incident took place around 20 minutes into the Komnas HAM press conference when a speaker from the crowd suddenly startled the people attending the press conference.

"We want the Cebongan to remain an ordinary criminal case, because this case is helping to exterminate thuggery", said one of the speakers through a megaphone in front of the Komnas HAM office in the Menteng area of Central Jakarta on Friday April 12.

It turned out that the demonstrators came from the Communication Forum for Children of Retired Police and Military Officers (FKPPI).

The demonstrators brought banners measuring 1x1 metres with messages such as, "Komnas HAM is a foreign lackey", "Disband Komnas HAM" and "Komnas HAM is never around when their parents rights are violated (sic)". "During the Papua military operation, Komnas HAM never investigated the case (sic)", shouted the speaker.

The demonstration by around 150 people did not disrupt traffic significantly and office security personnel kept watch over the action. The press conference itself had to be halted temporarily because of the protest.

At the press conference meanwhile, Komnas HAM explained that if the attack on the Cebongan prison [by members of the army's elite Special Forces Kopassus] in March was a human rights violation. Komnas HAM chairperson Siti Noor Lalila called on the government to take responsibility, bearing in mind that the incident that took place at Cebongan was an attack on a state institution and that the state had failed to protect its citizens.

"This is clearly a human rights violation. The attack on the Cebongan prison in Sleman was the act of an 'extrajudicial killing' against four prisoners and was an attack against the authority of the law and cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever", said Lalila. (rvk/nwk)

[Di Tengah Jumpa Pers, Komnas HAM Didemo 100-an Orang Berbaju Loreng - detikNews - Jumat, 12/04/2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

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