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Protest Outside Indonesian Prison

June 20, 1999

TANGERANG, Indonesia (AP) _ Police arrested about 100 protesters calling for the release of Indonesia’s lone female political prisoner after they clashed with another group Sunday.

Workers and students gathered outside the Tangerang Women’s Prison west of the capital, Jakarta, demanding that Dita Indahsari, a labor activist arrested for subversion after organizing a major protest in 1997, be freed.

A local group calling itself the ``Tangerang Youth Committee Against Intimidation″ faced off with the demonstrators and accused them of being communist, anti-constitution and anti-Muslim.

The group’s members then charged the protesters and chased them toward police, who loaded them onto trucks. Police charged the demonstrators with protesting without a permit and attempting to see a prisoner on a Sunday, which is not an official visiting day.

Dita is a member of the People’s Democratic Party, an organization banned during former President Suharto’s authoritarian regime but now a legally registered political party. She is due for release in December 2000.

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