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Jakarta Post

Jakarta Police ban discussion of 1965 drama

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 8, 2015   /  04:34 pm
Jakarta Police ban discussion of 1965 drama Victims of the 1965 Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) purge sing a protest song inside the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta in 2012. Victims of the purge have long urged Komnas HAM to reveal the results of its investigation regarding alleged human rights abuses in 1965. (Antara/Fanny Octavianus) (PKI) purge sing a protest song inside the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta in 2012. Victims of the purge have long urged Komnas HAM to reveal the results of its investigation regarding alleged human rights abuses in 1965. (Antara/Fanny Octavianus)

Victims of the 1965 Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) purge sing a protest song inside the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta in 2012. Victims of the purge have long urged Komnas HAM to reveal the results of its investigation regarding alleged human rights abuses in 1965. (Antara/Fanny Octavianus)

The Jakarta Police have banned a reading and discussion of a drama script titled "Family Album: #50years1965" at the Jakarta Theater Festival (FTJ) that was scheduled to take place at Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM), Central Jakarta, on Tuesday.

The police said they issued the prohibition because of fears of trouble from opponents of the event.

Letter No. B/19811/XII/2015/Datro states that the police refused to issue a permit as a result of pressure from a group calling itself the Jakarta Theater Family Who Cares for the Jakarta Theater Festival, which had previously informed the police about its plans to hold a rally in protest at the event.

FTJ project officer Malhamang Zamzam questioned the ban, saying such a move was difficult to understand. "It's weird because street rallies are common and we also have right to free speech. If the event fails because of the rally, that's OK. But if it's a result of a prohibition, I can't understand that," said Zamzam as quoted by Tempo.co on Tuesday.

According to Zamzam, there might have been some fear among the opponents who considered the drama script to relate to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), while in fact the activity would only be a historical drama script-writing workshop that referred to archives or studies, led by 10 scriptwriters.

"It's only a theme about humanity. This is 50 years since 1965, indeed the National Commission on Human Rights [Komnas HAM] also raises the issue everywhere," said Zamzam.

Zamzam claimed that the opposition group comprised long standing members of the FTJ who felt a particular ownership of the FTJ and thus believed that the FTJ should not become embroiled in sensitive issues. "There is no relation with the PKI. Just read the script, we will distribute it later," Zamzam asserted.

This marks the first prohibition of an art or literature event in TIM. The Jakarta Arts Council was scheduled to hold a press conference regarding the prohibition on Tuesday afternoon. (afr/bbn)(+)

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