International Human Rights Day commemorated in Yogyakarta

Source – December 10, 2004
Students commemorate Human Rights Day in Yogyakarta (Tribune)
Students commemorate Human Rights Day in Yogyakarta (Tribune)

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta – Commemorating International Human Rights Day, on Friday December 10 students and activists in Yogyakarta, Central Java, held a long march carrying four biers and photographs of recently murdered human rights defender Munir.

Written on each of the respective biers was “Marsinah”, “Kedung Ombo”, “The people of Aceh” and “The people of Papua”. The demonstrators called on the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) to keep its promise to uphold human rights.

The action was followed by 100 or so Papuan and Acehnese students from Aceh-Papua Solidarity (Solidaritas Aceh-Papua, SAP) and demonstrators from the United Alliance for Human Rights.

The long-march, which started at 9am at the Gajah Mada University roundabout, headed towards the central post office intersection on Jalan Senopati. At around 10.50am they had already reach Jalan Malioboro.

“In commemorating this International Human Rights Day, we want to declare that violence is still being practiced in Aceh and Papua by the SBY government”, said Yogyakarta SAP spokesperson Hilman Afriyandi.

SAP is also calling on President Yudhoyono’s to fulfil his commitment during his election campaign when he said that the conflicts in Aceh and Papua would be resolved justly, peacefully, democratically and without more blood being spilled.

“But the reality is the exact opposite. The facts in Papua are that violence is still occurring such as the Puncak Jaya and Abepura cases. In Aceh meanwhile, when the six month period of civil emergency ended on November 18, 2004, it was actually extended”, asserted Afriyandi.

SAP he continued does not wish for any more violence to occur in Aceh and Papua which can be brought about by the end to the military operation and the withdrawal of all organic and non-organic troops.

“We remind [the government] that the human rights situation in Indonesia is still of great concern and far from expectations. We also demand that the government fully investigate the case of Munir’s death and notify the public of all developments in the investigation of the case”, said Afriyandi.

An activist from the United Alliance for Human Rights named Syamsul Nurseha reminded demonstrators that the Yudhoyono government promised to uphold human rights and eliminate corruption in its first 100 days in office and this must be made a reality immediately. “And there should no longer be any further use of violence”, he said. (sss)

[Translated by James Balowski.]