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Jakarta Post

Victims' family, NGOs, to commemorate May 1998 tragedy

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 11, 2015   /  09:27 pm

Families of victims of the May 1998 tragedy, along with National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) and several NGOs, are slated to commemorate the deadly riots at an event on Tuesday.

The event marks the 17th anniversary of the tragedy that left 1,217 people killed, 91 injured, and 31 missing, according to data by the Volunteer Team for Humanity (TRuK).

The three-day riots began after the May 12, 1998 shootings at Trisakti University in West Jakarta, which killed four students. They quickly spread to other cities across the country.

'€œThe fight has not ended. There is still denial, especially on the sexual violence committed during the tragedy. We have to keep remembering this event, which has not been resolved. We need to learn from it,'€ Komnas Perempuan chief Azriana announced on Monday.

The Joint Team for Fact Finding (TGPF) has verified 85 victims of sexual violence during the riot: 52 rape victims, 14 assault victims, 10 sexual assault victims, and nine victims of sexual harassment.

The commemoration event will feature an exhibition of the victims'€™ possession and a cultural event on Tuesday at the Citral Mall in Klender, East Jakarta, where many people lost their lives.

One family member of a victim, Ruminah, 58, said she would not be attending the event, as she was still traumatized by the riots at the mall that led to the loss of her son, Gunawan, who was 12 years old at the time.

Usually I can't sleep after I see the mall," Ruminah said.

The event will be followed on Wednesday by the unveiling of a memorial by Jakarta Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama in Pondok Rangon Cemetery, East Jakarta.

Construction on the memorial began in 2014, when Ahok was still deputy Jakarta governor.

Elsam program officer Ester Rini Pratsnawati said the memorial would serve as a public reminder, while KontraS impunity monitoring division head Feri Kusuma said that the the month of May provided momentum for remembering the many human rights abuse cases that remain unaccounted for. (fsu/prm/nvn)(+++)

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