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Jakarta Post

East Java Police name another suspect related to racist abuse against Papuan students

  • Wahyoe Boediwardhana

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Sat, August 31, 2019   /   11:31 am
East Java Police name another suspect related to racist abuse against Papuan students Tri Susanti, the field coordinator of a protest that led to racist abuse against Papuan university students in Surabaya, East Java. (Warta Kota/-)

The East Java Police have named another suspect involved in a protest that led to racist abuse against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on Aug. 16, a day before the country's independence day. 

East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan said the suspect, identified only as SA, had allegedly directed hate speech at Papuan students. Based on video evidence as well as witness statements, the police found that SA directed racist slurs at the students.

“We have already questioned two witnesses and it is true [that SA allegedly delivered racist insults,” Luki said on Friday.

SA will be charged with Article 4 of Law 40/2008 on the eradication of racial and ethnic discrimination.

Separately, East Java Police vice chief Brig. Gen. Tono Harmanto said the police had decided to name SA a suspect after obtaining evidence from the investigation as well as information from witnesses.

When asked whether SA was affiliated with any mass organization, Toni refused to answer. He only said the suspect was among the six people who received a travel ban from the police. 

Meanwhile, the former deputy head of the Surabaya chapter of the Communication Forum of Indonesian Veterans’ Children (FKPPI), Tri Susanti, who was already named as a suspect, has yet to fulfil the police’s official summons request for questioning. 

Tri was scheduled for questioning at 1 p.m. on Friday. However, only her lawyer, Sahid, went to the police headquarters.

“She cannot come because she is ill,” Sahid told journalists on Friday. 

On Aug. 16, Tri allegedly led members of several mass organizations to a Papuan student dormitory following rumors regarding defamation against the country's national flag. 

The protest, which Tri claimed she staged to defend the nation’s flag, resulted in racial abuse directed at Papuans and triggered widespread antiracism protests that lasted for days in cities and regencies of Papua and West Papua. (dpk)