Indonesian Student Protestors

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Date: 1978

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Public Art, Print Journalism


Artist: Student Protesters

Confronting Bodies: Suharto Governmen

Dates of Action: 1978

Location: Indonesia

Description of Artwork: "... Students published a "White Book" accusing the ruling elite of promoting a culture of corruption by example, argued that Suharto was not a suitable candidate for re-election as president.. "

The Incident: " ... In response, Suharto sent troops, helicopters and armored cars to university campuses. The authorities arrested more than 200 student leaders, convicted them at show-trials, and banned seven papers for covering the students' protest. The country's most influential journals, including Kompas and Sinar Harapan, were among those banned. The government justified the bannings by asserting that the media had "shaped tension" in society by providing full coverage of the demonstrations... "

Results of Incident: "... Suharto let the newspapers resume publication only after they had signed a statement pledging to recognize their responsibility in preventing any disturbances to dynamic national stability" and promising not to "engage in slanders or other forms of insult directed toward the national leadership and members of his family..."

Source: A Fund for Free Expression Report, "Off Limits and Corruption", July 1991, pg. 34