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NGO Activist (WALHI) Tortured and Killed in Aceh

From: | Block address 
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 11:55:13 EST 
Subject: URGENT NEWS: NGO Activist (WALHI) Tortured and Killed in Aceh / Indonesia 

Sukardi, 30, of Yayasan Rumpun Bambu Indonesia (YRBI), was abducted, tortured and killed in Tapak Tuan, South Aceh.

The following is a chronology of events:

On Monday 31 January 2000, at 17.00, Sukardi accompanied a member of the administrative staff of YRBI field office, (Simpang Tiga Sawang) to Lhok Pawoh Village. According to their itinerary, he would later accompany Syafridah back to Panton Luas. However, Sukardi did not return, and Syafridah returned with someone else after waiting for him until 18.00.

Accordingto the first eye-witness, at around 17.30 Sukardi was seen riding a motor bike with someone else on the Ujong Karang village main road (about 1 Km from Lhok Pawoh Village) in the direction of Banda Aceh. When they reached the MIN school in Sawang, the second person got off and Sukardi continued his journey in the direction of the YRBI office. The second eye-witness says that he saw Sukardi at around 17.30 on the Meuligo Village road (around 2 Km from Sawang II Village), who waved back at him.

The third witness states that Sukardi stopped off in Simpang Tiga Tarok (still in Meuligo Village) at around 17.45. He told the eye-witness that he had been on his way to Panton Luas in order to accompany Syafridah. However, because Syafridah had already left, he was on his way back to the office.

BetweenSimpang Tarok-Meuligo and YRBI office, a distance of about 1 Km, there is a football pitch, a school, padi field, homes, a vacated Koramil barracks and a Polsek office where a Brimob unit are stationed, and Blang Geulinggang Village.

It is thought that Sukardi was kidnapped in between Simpang Tarok Meuligo and the YRBI office (along that 1 Km road).

Thatis where Sukardiís known movements end. Accordingto the second eye-witness, at around 17.45, Sukardi entered the Meuligoe Village area, bordering with Simpang tiga Alue Paku Village (1Km from the YRNI office) and it is here that he thinks Sukardi was abducted.

Because Sukardi had not returned, at around 19.30 friends from YRBI went out to look for him, and contacted Syafridah in the field at around 20.00 and then went to Lhok Pawoh Village and searched the environs. The search was called off at around 22.00, because conditions were unfavourable and it had begun to rain, and there were no more people out on the road.

The search was resumed at around 06.00 on 1 February 2000, until a phone call came which said that the body of a man whose body showed signs of torture had been found in Blang Village, Samadua Sub-district (around 8 Km from the office in the direction of Tapaktuan). The body was found around 10 metres from the main road near a hill, around 100 metres from inhabitants homes. 

When they YRBI arrived at the location, the body had already been removed and taken by local inhabitants to Tapaktuan General Hospital. There were only signs of blood remaining, as well as a bullet and a magazine.

At around 09.00, the YRBI activists arrived at the hospital and identified Sukardi and saw that the body was covered in bruises and signs of gunshot wounds ≠ his face was swollen. His right hand was broken, and his muscles were exposed where skin and flesh had been removed. He had been shot in the left side of his chest. His left and right thighs were also filled with Ďholesí as if he had been shot from behind. 

At 14.00 the body was taken to Sukardiís home and at 12.15 he was buried.

* Academic's House turned Over by Brimob (Indonesian Police)

Academic and humanitarian activist, Ilyas M Abed, who was accompanying Oxfam representatives in the field, had his house 'turned over' by Brimob on 1 February 2000. They accused Ilyas, who is the co-ordinator of a refugee camp in Pidie, of being a provocateur. Ilyas was not at home as he was with the Oxfam representatives (who were looking into the conditions of the refugees) and his family was ordered to make him report to the Pidie Sector Command. This is further evidence of the increase in intimidation directed towards civilian activists. Ilyas is also the Assistant rector of Jabal Ghafur University in Pidie.

International Forum for Aceh (IFA) 
Human Rights, Democracy and Empowerment 
Tel. (718) 392-9781, 937-0510 
Fax. (718) 786-2935


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Last modified: October 05, 2000