Jakarta advocacy group accuses hardline general over attack

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Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) advocacy head Muhammad Isnur ... names two people suspected of masterminding the attack on the human rights office. Image: Detak

By Dwi Andayani and Noval Dwinuary Antoni in Jakarta

Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) advocacy head Muhammad Isnur has accused retired Major-General Kivlan Zen and Presidium 313 member Rahmat Himran of being behind the attack on the LBH Jakarta offices.

He bases this on the names Kivlan and Himran which have appeared in social media in relation to the attack.

READ MORE: ‘Fake PKI news behind anti-communist chaos’

“The first is Rahmat Himran, I don’t know who he is but apparently he is with the Presidium 313, in several press releases and hoaxes (false news reports) in the media, his name has been cited as the one responsible, I don’t know if the police have arrested him or not”, said Isnur at the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) offices on Monday.

Meanwhile, Isnur cites Kivlan Zen because his name was mentioned in an online news website.

In the article, Zen was mentioned as chairing a coordinating meeting on closing down the “Indonesian Communist Party” (PKI) meeting at YLBHI.

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“The second name was Kivlan Zen, this was the first name that emerged when the news website Public News reported that he was chairing a coordination meeting on closing down the [alleged] PKI seminar, the police must investigate this,” said Isnur.

Zen has not yet been able to confirm or deny Isnur’s statement and Zen’s attorney Krist Ibnu was unable to comment any further about Isnur’s allegations.

Opposed to PKI
Ibnu, however, confirmed that Zen had indeed been moved to oppose the reemergence of the PKI.

“Now Pak Kivlan has indeed often spoken out opposing the PKI issue hasn’t he, because the PKI’s teachings have been banned. Pak Kivlan has been moved in his heart as a former fighter, so yes it quite legitimate that he opposes it,” said Ibnu when contacted.

“Now with regard to whether or not Pak Kivlan was behind the action last night I don’t really know, but we admit that Pak Kivlan has often spoken out opposing the PKI.

“Only, there have been those that have been candid about it and those that have done it on the sly, it’s not just Pak Kivlan,” he added.

In relation to the siege on the YLBHI offices, Isnur also linked this with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo statement about “clobbering the PKI”.

According to Isnur, Jokowi’s statement is open to misuse by certain groups as a justification to carry out such attacks.

Background
Presidium 313 refers to the organising body that was behind the so-called 313 rally in Jakarta against former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on March 31 calling for him to be jailed for alleged blasphemy.

Retired Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad, Green Berets) commander Major-General Kivlan Zen is as a hardline general best known for his bizarre claims about a PKI resurgence and was a staunch supporter of Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto during the 2014 presidential election. In December 2016, following the mass protests against Ahok, Zen was arrested and charged with treason for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Widodo government.

Speaking before 1500 TNI soldiers in Riau on May 19, Widodo said that the government would not stay silent in confronting movements that undermine the Constitution and the state ideology of Pancasila and this also applied to groups that followed communism. “Yes, we will clobber them, we will stamp them out, this is already clear. Don’t question this again. Don’t question this again. The legal umbrella is clear, the TAP MPRS,” said Widodo, referring to a 1966 decree banning the Indonesian Communist Party.

Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was “LBH Tuding Kivlan Zen Terlibat dalam Aksi Pengepungan Kantor”.

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