Police order recall and burning of magazine on 1965 communist purge

Tempo.co – October 18, 2015
October 10 issue of Lentara magazine on purge of PKI sympathisers in Salatiga – October 20, 2015 (Antara)
October 10 issue of Lentara magazine on purge of PKI sympathisers in Salatiga – October 20, 2015 (Antara)

Abdul Azis, Jakarta – The editor of the magazine Lentera (Beacon), Bima Satria Putra, says that the police have asked them to recall the October 10 issue of the magazine from circulation.

According to Bima, the October 10 issue of the magazine, which is produced by the student editorial board of the Satya Wacana Christian University Faculty of Social and Communication Studies, focused on commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1965 mass killings.

In that edition the Lentera editorial board took up the issue of the purge of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) sympathisers in an around the Central Java city of Salatiga.

“We produced 500 copies, which were not only distributed on the Satya Wacana Christian University campus, but also to the Salatiga community, the Salatiga administration and organisations in [the Central Java cities of] Solo, Semarang and Yogyakarta”, said Bima when contacted by Tempo on Sunday October 18.

Bima related how several days earlier on Friday October 16 they received a negative reaction to the magazine from the mayor, police and the military. “They protested the content of the magazine”, he said.

The protests from the many different parties ended in the student press institute leaders being interrogated by police on October 18. They were subsequently asked to halt the distribution of the magazine so that all copies could be collected and burnt. “They asked for all copies of the magazine to be burnt”, said Bima.

Not only that, Bima said that as a flow on effect of the circulation of the issue police issued a strong warning and reprimand to the campus. The police stated that the magazine did not have a publishing license, was not in accordance with prevailing legislation and was not suitable to be distributed to the public.

“We know that they did indeed make an issue over the [publishing] license, but the PKI content was also used as justification to recall the magazine from distribution”, said Bima.

Earlier, Bima explained that although the Press Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Pers) in Jakarta, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the Indonesian Student Press Association (PPMI) offered assistance, for various reasons the editors decided to hand the magazine over to police.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Beritakan Kasus 1965, Majalah Lentera Ditarik lalu Dibakar.]

Source: http://nasional.tempo.co/read/news/2015/10/18/063710644/beritakan-kasus-1965-majalah-lentera-ditarik-lalu-dibakar