EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 21/32/96
EXTRA 84/96 Health concern / Possible prisoner of conscience 6 June 1996
INDONESIAAmin Baharuddin, student activist
Amnesty International is concerned for the health of Amin Baharuddin, an
Indonesian activist, who was badly wounded during a demonstration in Jakarta
on 4 June 1996. He is currently being detained at Police Resort, Central
Jakarta, where he is reported to be in need of medical attention. Amnesty
International is further concerned that the real reason for his detention may
be his peaceful political activities, rather than the offences for which he
The demonstration was held in protest at the use of excessive force by the
security forces during student riots in Ujung Pandang on the island of Sulawasi
in April 1996. It is believed that up to six students died in the riots after
clashes with the security forces on several university campuses. The Indonesian
authorities have announced that 12 members of the security forces are facing
possible prosecution for their role in the deaths, however there is concern
that the incident has not been properly and independently investigated (see
EXTRA 57/96, ASA 21/24/96, 25 April 1996 and follow-ups ASA 21/25/96, 1 May,
and ASA 21/28/96, 13 May).
The Jakarta demonstration began at around 11am at the University of Indonesia.
Amin Baharuddin, an activist from a student non-governmental organization,
PIJAR, was arrested at around 3pm after a confrontation between the police
and the demonstrators at the office of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute.
During his arrest, Amin Baharuddin was dragged along for 100 metres by the
police. He was then repeatedly hit as he was put into a police vehicle.
Amin Baharuddin did not receive medical treatment until 4am the next morning
after lawyers intervened on his behalf. He was taken to a military hospital
where he was given some medication but was not given an intensive examination.
Amnesty International is concerned that the treatment may not have been
sufficient and that Amin Baharuddin has been returned to police custody despite
the fact that he has complained of head wounds and breathing difficulties.
Earlier, during the same demonstration a confrontation between the
demonstrators and police outside the University of Indonesia resulted in arrests
and the wounding of up to five activists. Four others were wounded during the
confrontation at the LBH office. A total of six activists, including Amin
Baharuddin, were taken into police custody. All but he have since been released.
Amin Baharuddin is now facing charges under Article 212 and 213 of Indonesia's
Criminal Code, which relate to the use of violence in resisting officials.
The police are alleging that three police officers were wounded by
stone-throwing during the demonstration. However, there is believed to be no
evidence that Amin Baharuddin was involved in violent activities. PIJAR claim
that photographs and video evidence of the demonstrations show that Amin
Baharuddin was in the back of the demonstration and was not involved in
Members of the Indonesian security forces frequently use excessive force in
dealing with both violent and peaceful protests. Individuals engaged in protests
and demonstrations have been subjected to beatings, and in some cases shot