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Indonesia: Trade unionists in Indonesia

, Index number: ACT 73/006/1995

The Indonesian Government imposes heavy restrictions on the right to strike and to organize. Only one trade union federation is recognized: the SPSI. Despite government assurances in the past year that restrictions would be eased, the SPSI continues to be the only recognized union. An independent union, the SBSI, established in 1992, was referred to in 1994 as a "banned" organization. Its national leader, Muchtar Pakpahan, was jailed in 1994, along with other union officials. Military and police intervention in labour disputes is common. In some cases, the security forces have tortured, raped and even killed in order to intimidate labour activists. Two young activists, Marsinah and Rusli, were killed in 1993. A prominent trade unionist, Ruslan Wijayasastra, aged 76, former Secretary General of the ILO, has been on death row for the last 25 years. He was arrested in 1968 and charged with complicity in the 1965 coup attempt.

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