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#Tangerang and #Bekasi, #Indonesia: Update on Anti-Authoritarian Prisoners Involved in Vandalism

Saturday, July 25th 2020; report written by the Anti-authoritarian Federation (FedAO).

Originally published by Anarchists Worldwide.

Three anti-authoritarian detainees from Tangerang and Bekasi are currently undergoing a court trial. They were arrested on April 9, 2020 for spraying graffiti that said “sudah krisis, saatnya membakar” (there’s a crisis already, time to burn) and “melawan atau mati konyol” (fight or perish). They were charged with violating the Law of the Republic of Indonesia, No. 01, 1946, article 14 and/or article 15, and against the Criminal Code article 160. In lay terms, they are charged with the crime of “provocation,” for which the conviction could be up to 10 years of prison time.

At the beginning of their arrest and detention last April, the anti-authoritarian detainees  experienced violence and isolation at the hands of the police. They were put in isolation for about one month in which the police prevented them from meeting with their families and legal assistance. With the support of their strong-willed families and friends, the anti-authoritarian detainees were able to secure the assistance from public lawyers of the Jakarta Legal Aid (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum—LBH). However despite this assistance, the police still tried to force the detainees and their families to change their legal representation from the LBH to lawyers appointed by the police department.

Since their first trial on June 15, 2020, the three anti-authoritarians have had 9 hearings already. The 10th hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 with the agenda of the examination of witnesses by the prosecutor. During the previous hearings, the legal defense repeatedly stressed that acts of vandalism are a violation of public order and therefore an indictment of 10 years in prison is not appropriate. According to their legal assistance, public order violations are only relevant given administrative sanctions in the form of reprimands or repainting the public facilities. Moreover, the police have made deviations from legal procedures, such as excessive violence and isolating detainees from legal assistance and families. Following the violence perpetrated by police, the legal assistance and families of the detainees reported these alleged violations to PROPAM last July 22, 2020. (PROPAM is the division of the Indonesian police in charge of professional accountability and internal security, an equivalent of an ombudsman for police.)

The two other detainees who were arrested with the three anti-authoritarians are underage and have been sentenced to 4-months imprisonment. Their confinement period will end on the beginning of August. So far, their families can only “visit” them virtually.

In addition to litigation assistance, several anti-authoritarian communities and individuals are continuing the campaign to contribute in various capacities in supporting the detainees.

In Solidarity,
Federasi Anti-Otoritarian


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