International People’s Tribunal 1965 event forced to move after being closed down by police

CNN Indonesia – August 2, 2017
IPT 65 activists speaking at press conference in Jakarta - August 2, 2017 (CNN)
IPT 65 activists speaking at press conference in Jakarta - August 2, 2017 (CNN)

Bimo Wiwoho, Jakarta, CNN Indonesia – A workshop held by activists and volunteers from the 1965 Indonesia People’s Tribunal (IPT 65) at the Wisma Samadi in Klender, East Jakarta, was yesterday forcibly closed down by police, the TNI (Indonesian military) and local government officials. The event was later moved to the offices of the Jakarta Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (LBH).

IPT 65 activist Dianto Bahriadi said that security personnel and government officials arrived at the at the workshop, which was to discuss and evaluate plans to resolve human rights violations in 1965, several hours before it was due to start.

“[There was] security personnel from the East Jakarta district police intelligence unit represented by Assistant Superintendent Sianturi, the District Military Command (Koramil) along with local officials and several intelligence officers”, said Dianto during a press conference at the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) offices in Jakarta on Wednesday August 2.

On the grounds that the event did not have a permit, the organising committee was asked to cancel the workshop. Dianto said that the committee did not have a permit because they did not consider it necessary. This he said was because the workshop was not being held at a public venue so it did not require one.

LBH Jakarta lawyer Pratiwi Febby expressed her objections to the reasons given by officials. According to Pratiwi, people only need to notify police if it is a public event, meanwhile the IPT 65 workshop was held at a closed venue. “Please go ahead and check, whether or not the IPT 65 meeting was held at a public venue”, said Pratiwi.

According to Pratiwi, people only need to notify police if they want to hold an event that will include festivities or is attended by hundreds of people. If not, people are not obliged to notify the police. “I think there were only 20 to 30 people yesterday so it did not need to obtain a permit”, said Pratiwi.

Another IPT 65 activist, Reza Muharam, said that prior to the request to cancel the event, the officials arrived claiming that they had received a report from residents that the IPT 65 was to hold an event at the venue.

However when asked who made the report, the officials were unable to provide a satisfactory answer. “They said there was a report from a resident. What report? What were they talking about, no one knew we wanted to hold an event there. It was a closed event”, said Reza.

Based on these grounds, which were quite unsatisfactory, Reza concluded that by their actions the police did indeed intentionally seek to cancel the event.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Dibubarkan Polisi, Lokakarya 65 Pindah ke LBH.]