UPDATE (INDONESIA): 9 of Bandung 19 declared Not Guilty despite unfair trial


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-08-2002
ISSUES: Human rights defenders, Police violence, Right to fair trial, Torture,

Dear Friends 

We are pleased to inform you of great success thanks to your efforts in support of the ‘Bandung 19’, wrongfully arrested on June 15 2001, tortured, held incommunicado and subject to unfair trial. You will recall that the young workers, students and activists were protesting the government’s planned increase in oil prices. The brutal treatment of the activists has clearly displayed the dysfunctionality, cruelty and inequality of Indonesia’s criminal justice system – the unreformed legacy of Suharto’s corrupt, repressive, 32 year dictatorship. AHRC’s report of the torture and unfair trial experienced by the Bandung 19 is available at: http://www.ahrchk.net/issue/indonesia/index.html 

However, thanks to your efforts, after 7 months of trial, on 7 February 2002, nine of the 19 were found NOT GUILTY by the District Court of Bandung. Two others were found to be GUILTY by the court – a decision resulting from a blatantly unfair trial, which will be appealed at a higher court. The two had already served out most of their sentences, which amounted to less than 4 months each. One other is still awaiting the court’s decision. 

The remaining seven persons are from the student movement. They were arrested on 17 June 2001 after protesting the arrest of the other 12 activists, and were detained for 45 days. They remain ‘suspects’ for ‘provoking the people’, and it is uncertain whether they will be brought to trial or not at this stage. 

It is our hope that in coming months the police responsible for the torture and inhuman treatment of the Bandung 19 will themselves be prosecuted for their human rights crimes. 

We would like to congratulate the human rights defenders for their fight against the biased criminal justice system, and to thank you for your efforts on their behalf. We will update you on the progress of the appeal for those found guilty, and hope that you will remain vigilant and active in pushing for reform so that human rights defenders are no longer tortured by police and unfairly treated by courts. The activists found ‘not guilty’ have already set the example for this, by peacefully protesting against the oil price rises again immediately following their acquittal. A letter from one of the activists is included below for your information. 

Urgent Appeals Desk 
Asian Human Rights Commission 


“Victory greeting! YCW Indonesia and I would like to express our thank you to you all. I am very happy that you supported my friends and me in struggle. As you know that my friend and I were free by the court on February 13, 2002. Why could be happen like this? It is because the appeal and our struggle. You were participated in this appeal by sending protests letter to our authorities for the release of the 12 young workers and me. 

“…After the court acquitted my friends and me on February 13, 2002, YCW Indonesia and other organizations taken action in same place where I was arrested and we present the demand: increase wage by 100%, 32 work hours/ week, refuse increase the oil price and electricity, and cancel the debt of the country. 

“I believe in worker solidarity which is essential for the struggle and the victory of the working class. 

“I thank you very much for your support and let us unite our strength for JUST WORK FOR ALL.” 

In Solidarity 

Ludovicus Mardiyono 
Your friend in struggle

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-08-2002
Countries : Indonesia,
Issues : Human rights defenders, Police violence, Right to fair trial, Torture,