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Indonesia: 7 Nommensen students arrested, accused of arson and destruction of university

category indonesia / philippines / australia | repression / prisoners | news report author Wednesday March 12, 2008 13:41author by arm_da_spirit - - Report this post to the editors

Most of the students involved are student activists. They were part of Nommensen Discussion Group (KDN), who serve as a catalyst for student radicalization in their campus. These active students were disturbing the rectorate plan to militarize the Sumatran campus.

7 Nommensen students arrested, accused of arson and destruction of university



HKBP NOMMENSEN is a batak-christian University located in North Sumatra, Medan.

It all started on August 2007 when PENMARU (new students orientation) was taken over by the rectorate. This caused anger among the students. When the student orientation was started, on Gelanggang Remaja Medan, around twenty students came in to boycott and took over the microphone, stating that the event was not legitimate because students had no part in organizing it. After that, the rectorate decided to stop the student orientation.

The frequent flows of boycott led to the scorsing of twenty students and the expulsion of twenty-two students. According to the Nommensen students, only twenty people were participating in the boycott, so there were other students who didn’t know anything about it and were accused of participating. When the rectorate issued these scorsing and expulsion letters, the students became anxious. Students started to create massive pressure and forced the rectorate to make a statement. This time the statement somehow didn’t make any sense. The rectorate accused those students of being unsuitable for accademia, gamblers, and drug addicts. And this statement had no connection with the boycotting of the student orientation that led to the scorsing and expulsions.

The occupation of HKBP University started in October and at the same time they continued to spread a solidarity campaign among students and other campuses. In November, the parents of these students met with the rectorate, but the meeting was a waste of their time. They got even more suspicious when they found out that there are no legal letters about the scorsing and expulsion. Until February 2008, when, fed up with the useless protests and compromises, the angry students started to destroy the university. On February 20th, Seven of them were taken into custody and accused of “Property Destruction”.

Most of the students involved are student activists. They were part of Nommensen Discussion Group (KDN), that serves as a catalyst for student radicalization in their campus. These active students were disturbing the rectorate's plan to militarize the campus. One of the facts is that the rector is a high military official. So it is obvious that these student group are a threat to the university. The reclamation of student orientation was part of a plan to militarise the campus and to cut student organization from having direct control over it.

Therefore, we, Solidaritas Anti-Otoritarian, urge you to express your solidarity with the arrested students and to demand the unconditional release of the Seven students of Nommensen:

The names are:
  • Jhoni Walinton Butarbutar
  • Chandra Manurung
  • Bernard Simaremare
  • Bernard Marpaung
  • Horas Simanjuntak
  • Joshua Nababan
  • Dian Sinulingga
What you can do?

Issue a statement to your nearest Indonesian embassy for their unconditional release. Make direct protests, or anything that you think might help to release our imprisoned comrades. The struggle continues…

Further communication:

Solidaritas Anti-Otoritarian

c/o: (Yogyakarta) mobile: 081808335157

c/o (Jakarta) mobile: 081802260626

or direct to Semapur di Medan:

c/o Semapur: - 081375312275

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