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Indonesian Dissidents Arrested

Thu., Aug. 15, 1996

Twenty-eight people accused of membership in a banned leftist group have been arrested on the resort island of Bali, the official news agency said Wednesday.

The suspects had scars from injuries apparently suffered during battles with security forces during last month’s deadly riots, the Antara news agency reported.

“For these people, there will be no mercy,” Bali Gov. Ida Bagus Oka told Antara.

He said those arrested belong to the Democratic People’s Party, a left-leaning group of about 200 people whose 27-year-old leader, Budiman Sudjatmiko, was arrested Sunday and charged with subversion, an offense punishable by death. Budiman denies the charge.

The military softened its attitude toward Budiman on Tuesday, saying a larger force is probably at work behind him.

“It is not possible that a young man like Budiman could do it alone,” armed forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Amir Syarifuddin said.

The suspects arrested Sunday are said to have fled to Bali after rioting in Jakarta on July 27 left them bruised and scarred.

The riot began after police and soldiers raided the headquarters of an opposition party headed by pro-democracy leader Megawati Sukaroputri. Four people were killed, more than 90 people were injured and 22 buildings were burned.

Police have arrested 152 people since the riots, and the National Commission on Human Rights said Wednesday that 16 people are still missing. The military says it is continuing its hunt for subversives.

Opposition leaders accuse the government of using claims of subversion as an excuse to round up dissidents.


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