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Father of Missing Activist in 1998 Protests Sues Jokowi for Making Prabowo Honorary General

Translator

Ririe Ranggasari

Editor

Laila Afifa

20 June 2024 17:36 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A man whose son was among the activists who disappeared during the 1997-1998 wave of protests has filed a lawsuit against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN). He is suing the president for awarding Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto the title of four-star honorary TNI general.

Paian Siahaan, father of Ucok Munandar Siahaan, who was a university student activist when he went missing, said he was disappointed with President Jokowi who, despite promising to take action against past human rights abuses, had in fact given an honorary rank to Prabowo, who has been linked to the abduction of pro-democracy activists.

Prabowo was given an honorary discharge from ABRI in November 1998. At the time, Prabowo, as a lieutenant general, was linked to the deployment of the Mawar Task Force to abduct pro-democracy activists.

"He was dismissed. So why was he given a different rank? That's our issue here," Paien said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Paian slammed Jokowi's leniency toward Prabowo as unfounded and unreasonable. Jokowi's recklessness in giving a military rank and ministerial position to a suspected perpetrator of human rights violations has hurt the victim's families.

Paian's lawsuit has been registered with the Jakarta PTUN since May 28, 2024. He is joined by the Civil Society Coalition Against Impunity, which consists of the Families of Victims of Enforced Disappearance 1997-1998, KontraS, Imparsial, AMAR, LBH Jakarta, YLBHI, and a number of other organizations.

For this case, the court has held two hearings on June 5 and June 12, 2024. Today, June 20, the Court has scheduled a follow-up hearing for this case. In the previous hearing, the panel of judges considered that Prabowo Subianto should be questioned because it would affect the rank of the president-elect.

Paian said the court clerk had sent a letter to Prabowo to attend the trial today, Thursday, June 20. However, based on Tempo's monitoring of the location, Prabowo Subianto or his legal team had yet to show up to answer the summons as of this afternoon.

Defense Ministry spokesmen Edwin Adrian and Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak were contacted for comment.

NOVALI PANJI NUGROHO

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