Firebomb attack on Yogya legal aid office believed linked to advocacy work

Detik News – September 18, 2021
Crowd gathers outside Yogyakarta LBH office following Molotov bomb attack – September 18, 2021 (Halokawan)

Jauh Hari Wawan S, Yogyakarta – The Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) office in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta was the target of a terror attack early on the morning of Saturday September 18. The Yogyakarta LBH is currently handling several structural cases.

"Currently we are handling several structural cases in Yogya[karta] and Central Java", said LBH Yogyakarta Director Yogi Zul Fadhli when contacted by journalists on Saturday.

One of the cases referred to by Fadhli is a land dispute case in Wadas, Purworejo, Central Java.

"The cases that we are handling are structural cases. One of the cases is the eviction of residents in Wades, Purworejo, Central java, the second is the case of a legal challenge by a Proclamation 45 University lecturer", said Fadhli.

"(Then) there is advocacy on the Yogyakarta gubernatorial regulation prohibiting demonstrations in the Malioboro [shopping district] area, the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Cilacap and the construction of a cement factory in Gombong", he continued.

According to Fadhli, they have never been any attacks of this kind in the past.

"In the past there hasn't been any. The most recent was related to violence against LBH Yogya staff, namely the arrest of colleagues at Wades", he said.

As has been reported, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the LBH Yogyakarta office early on Saturday morning. The attack was only discovered later in the day.

Fadhli said that they suspect that a Molotov cocktail was used because of the black burn marks left over from flames in several parts of the office. In addition to this broken glass from the Molotov bottle was also found.

"We found out about it at 5 am, and there was residue from a Molotov bomb. There was black burn marks like from a fire in several places at the front of the office, like on the wall, windows and ventilation", Fadhli told journalists on Saturday.

He said that they will immediately report the incident to the authorities.

"We plan to report it to the police. We've only just [decided to do this] because we only found out about the incident this morning. Earlier this morning we were still conducting an internal coordination to decide what to do. But we decided earlier to report the incident to the police", he said.

The police meanwhile have already inspected the crime scene with Kotagede sectoral police criminal investigation unit chief First Police Inspector Mardiyanto saying that based on the information they have gathered the attack occurred when the office was empty.

"So the preliminary information was gathered earlier this morning, because at the moment there was no one occupying the office. So it was only discovered after a staff member arrived earlier this morning and there was remnants like those left over by a Molotov bomb", Mardiyanto told journalists on Saturday.

Based the results of the inspection of the crime scene, broken pieces of a bottle suspected to be a Molotov cocktail were found. In addition to this there were burn marks from a fire. Based on the materials found at the scene and burnt objects, police say that it was caused by a Molotov cocktail.

"If seen from the marks left by the fire it was from a bottle filled with petrol, then there was a wick which was lit then thrown. The term is a Molotov", he said.

Mardiyanto added that police will look into the case by questioning several different parties. (rih/rih)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Kantor LBH Yogya Diteror Molotov, Ini Sederet Kasus yang Sedang Ditangani".]