The Enact the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence Alliance (Aliansi Sahkan RUU PKS) again took to the streets of the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Tuesday August 4. This month the Alliance is taking up the theme “Freedom from Sexual Violence, Enact the RUU PKS”.
The rally, which was joined by around 20 people, began at 4.15 pm. Like previous actions, this Tuesday Action was enlivened with political speeches by various pro-democracy organisations and individuals.
Aside from bringing posters calling for the enactment of the RUU PKS as the main demand, the demonstrators also brought posters calling for the ratification of the Draft Law on Domestic Workers (RUU PRT), for the defeat of the Draft Omnibus Law on Job Creation, rejecting the Draft Law on Family Resilience and rejecting the extension of Special Autonomy in Papua.
The main thrust of the speeches was explaining the urgency of enacting the RUU PKS given the increasing number of cases of sexual violence occurring in Indonesia. One of the participants explained that thousands of cases of sexual violence are left unresolved by the state.
A speaker from Indonesian Islamic University in Motion (UII Bergerak) spoke about a case of sexual harassment at the UII committed by UII alumni Ibrahim Malik which to this day remains unresolved, even though as many as 30 victims have reported the case and are currently being assisted by the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH). Despite this, Malik has graduated from the University of Melbourne and has returned to Indonesia, although there has been no clarity about the status of the sexual harassment case.
This shows that no legal umbrella exists for survivors and as a consequence, sexual violence cases just become a series of figures that accumulate every day without being resolved.
It is because of this that the enactment of the RUU PKS is important because the draft law not only contains clear criminal provisions against perpetrators but also covers rehabilitation and protection for survivors.
The action ended at 5.30 pm with the reading out of a statement and the Alliance reaffirming that it will continue to hold protests in front of the Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building every Tuesday until the bill is passed into law.
The groups also called on all elements of Yogyakarta society to become actively involved in articulating the issue and urging the House of Representatives (DPR) to immediately ratify the law.
In the East Kalimantan provincial capital of Samarinda meanwhile, around 20 demonstrators from various different youth and cross-sector organisations held an action on Tuesday at 4-6 pm in front of the East Kalimantan provincial DPRD office.
The protesters began gathering in front of the East Kalimantan governor’s office then held a convoy on motorcycles to the DPRD.
Taking up the theme “Enact the RUU PKS, Defeat the Omnibus Law”, the action was joined by SPARK, the Nusantara Traditional Community Alliance (PEREMPUAN AMAN), the People’s Study Circle (LSK), the Samarinda Indonesian Islamic Students Association (PMII), the Samarinda State Islamic University Student Executive Council (DEMA IAIN Samarinda) and participants of the weekly East Kalimantan Kamisan (Thursday) Actions.
The rally took up several demands including “Try and punish Otniel Rudolp Sumual alias Rudolp, a perpetrator of sexual violence”, “Enact the RUU PKS”, “Enact the RUU PRT” and “Defeat the Omnibus Law”.
In addition to this, speakers at the protest also spoke about the importance of the RUU PKS as a law that can protect the ordinary people from sexual violence, the number of cases of which continue to grow each year in Indonesia.
“Of course the hope is that the RUU PKS will soon be ratified because the number of victims will continue to grow and the RUU PKS will be a legal umbrella for victims of sexual violence. Aside from this, the aim (of the RUU PKS) is to deal with and protect society and others”, asserted Salsabila from SPARK in a speech. (mcl, al, sa)
-- Arah Juang (Direction of Struggle) is the official newspaper of the Socialist Union (Perserikatan Sosialis)
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aksi Merdeka Dari Kekerasan Seksual”.]