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Jakarta Post

Freedom of speech in jeopardy from planned PKI book raid

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, January 26, 2019   /  10:09 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Showing loyalty – Hundreds of students of Islamic boarding schools listen attentively President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s remarks during the Maulid Nabi celebration in Pekalongan, Central Java, on Jan.8, 2017, while they display red-and-white colored banners emblazoned with a message “NKRI Harga Mati” (The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia is Undisputed). (JP/Suherdjoko)

Scholars and publishers have expressed concern at the government’s escalating campaign against left-leaning literature, deeming the policy misguided and a threat to freedom of expression in the country. The Attorney General's Office (AGO) and the Indonesian Military (TNI) are reportedly planning to hold a "large scale" raid on books tackling the subject of communism and anything related to the 1965 purge, a move which appears to be aimed at preventing any possible revival of the long-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which is, nevertheless, perceived by the government as a “latent danger.” The planned raid is a follow-up on previous raids in Padang, West Sumatra; Kediri, East Java; and Tarakan in North Kalimantan, which took place in December last year. Among the titles confiscated during the raids were Komunisme a la Aidit (Communism a ...