People’s Lawyers Union attacked three times

Source – March 3, 2003
SPR spokesperson Habiburokhman (Detik)
SPR spokesperson Habiburokhman (Detik)

Gita Fajar P. Mega, Jakarta -- The People’s Lawyers Union (Serikat Pengacara Rakyat, SPR) which is handling a class action case over price increases to fuel against President Megawati Sukarnoputri, will send a pre-litigation letter to Megawati and Indonesian police chief General Da’I Bachtiar following three attacks on their offices by unidentified assailants.

Speaking to on Sunday, SPR spokesperson Habibburachman described the attack in while eating dinner at a cafe approximately 500 metres from the SPR office in Jagakarsa, South Jakarta.

At around 10pm on Saturday evening, Habib was suddenly attacked by six unidentified people. “I was kicked from behind and hid with a Chaka stick which fractured by left elbow”, said Habib.

Habib said that before the incident, his office had been terrorised since early morning. First at 10am, a person rang the SPR offices and threatened to kill SPR members if they did not withdraw the class action.

“Because we were worried that there would be an attack we evacuated the office. At 5pm, we returned and received a similar threatening phone call. But because no attack transpired, we decided to return to the office at 9pm”, said Habib.

Habib suspects the perpetrators of the attack are the same people who had attacked the SPR office twice before on February 19 and 25.

“I’m not accusing PDIP [Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, Megawati’s ruling party] members but it is certain that there is a relationship [between the attack and] the statement made by PDIP leader Jacob Nuwa Wea which said that PDIP cadre would confront students [if they continued to insult PDIP]”, he said while appealing to PDIP leaders, particularly Jacob not to issue such provocative statements.

Because of this continued Habib, they would send a pre- ligigation letter to Megawati and Bachtiar demanding that they arrest the perpetrators and masterminds of the attack within 14 days from today.

Acceding to Habib, the president and police chief have been negligent in carrying out their duties as protectors of state citizens and have violated Article 28, Paragraph 2 of the 1945 Constitution. “Fully investigate the incidents of terror against SPR, arrest the perpetrators and the masterminds and provide us with a guarantee of protection. If they have not been arrested after 14, we will present a civil suit against the authorities to the Central Jakarta state court”, he explained.

Next Thursday the Central Jakarta State Court will go into session to determine the validity of their class action against the price increases to fuel.

[Translated by James Balowski.]