Indonesia: The trial of thought
Fifteen people on trial for subversion face the death penalty or lengthy prison sentences for their non-violent involvement in political and labour activities. All fifteen are considered to be prisoners of conscience. They were originally arrested in connection with riots which broke out on 27 July 1996, when the government responded to the unrest with a broad sweep of arrests of government critics. This report examines the charges against them, the accusations and the trials themselves which are characterized by unfairness. The report gives case studies of Muchtar Pakpahan, a trade union leader; Dita Indah Sari, also a trade union leader; Budiman Sudjatmiko, chair of the People's Democratic Party (PRD); and Megawati Sukarnoputri, ousted leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI). A list of all those on trial in connection with the events of 27 July 1996 is appended.