President Yudhoyono sued for extending civil emergency in Aceh

Source – December 9, 2004
Indonesian soldiers stop at Acehnese village (Benar News)
Indonesian soldiers stop at Acehnese village (Benar News)

Nala Edwin, Jakarta – The People’s Lawyers Union (Serikat Pengacara Rakyat, SPR) has launched a class action against President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of 9.02 trillion rupiah for failing to repeal the state of emergency in Aceh and instead extending it through government regulation Number 2/2004.

SPR registered the civil suit with the Central Jakarta State Court on Jalan Gajah Mada this afternoon on Thursday December 9. SPR says it is representing the entire Acehnese population totaling around 4 million people who are being represented by eight representatives.

Habiburokhman, one of the SPR members, said that the suit was launched because the president is believed to be guilty of and to have caused material and non-material damages by not revoking the civil emergency in Aceh. SPR is asking the panel of judges to declare that the accused must conduct a legal defense of his policies.

According to Habiburokhman, if they win the suit the money will be distributed to the Acehnese people. “This money will be distributed to the Acehnese people though the village administrative structures which exist there”, he said.

As well as compensation, SPR is also asking President Yudhoyono to provide a written apology to the plaintiffs reading “I, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, retired General Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, apologise to all of the Acehnese people because I have broken my [election] promise by failing to repeal but on the contrary extending the civil emergency in Aceh”.

The apology will be written on a billboard measuring 7x7 metres which will be erected on the grounds of the Raya Baiturahman Mosque in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh and printed on 500,000 sheets of A4 paper which will be distributed to the Acehnese people by helicopter. (gtp)

[Translated by James Balowski.]