Famous activist Lieus Sungkharisma was arrested and named by a suspect on charges of treason, on Monday (05/20). Photo by Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian politics heated up after the National Police arrested and named suspects in a number of vocal opposition supporters on treason charges. They are lawyer Eggi Sudjana, ex-general Kivlan Zain and famous activist Lieus Sungkharisma.

On Tuesday (05/21) it was the turn of the former General Sunarko who was arrested at the Soekarno Hatta airport in Jakarta. At present, the case is being processed in the police. Sunarko was reported with suspicion of directing a number of people to surround the State Palace and the General Elections Commission (GEC) building during the mass rally.

This began when the opposition openly declared their rejection to the elections they called full of fraud. For the claim, they plan to hold a two-day rally at the GEC and Election Supervisory Agency building, starting May 21 to 22.

The rally organizers, who identified themselves as “Persaudaraan Alumni 212,” (PA 212) is calling the mass gathering a “constitutional Jihad” demand incumbent Joko Widodo-Maruf Amin to be disqualified. For this demand, they were accused by police of overthrowing a legitimate government.

A number of vocal names have been interrupted with the police. On Monday, the famous activist Sungkharisma was arrested and named by a suspect on charges of treason. A similar case happened to another figure such as the former general Kivlan Zen who had been named a suspect. Others are senior politician Amin Rais who initiated the “people power” movement to overthrow the Widodo government. To date, the former case of the “1998 reformer” is still being processed.

The people power call also dragged the name of lawyer Eggi Sudjana who had been named by the suspect and is still being detained in the police since last week. Furthermore, there was the name of the senior politician from the Gerindra Party, Permadi. He reported a number of parties have tried to provoke treason even though the case has not been processed. But he – along with other opposition figures Bahtiar Nasir – was still pursuing the police because he acted as a witness in the Sudjana case.

A number of people criticized the police’s move to determine many suspects with treason articles. Including Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, Prabowo Subianto’ running mate. He considered the police should be careful and not easy to determine suspects just because they protested an injustice.

“Don’t all those expressions are turned to the treason article. Because all of them have a very positive desire, they are optimistic that Indonesia will be better, fair and prosperous,” he said.

The same was conveyed by the Chairman of Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI) Muhammad Isnur. According to Isnur, at least until now the situation is still far from the treason category. He took the example of Sudjana who was charged with treason for saying the call for people power.

“If people just say [people power] without any power, it will be difficult. [Treason] means an attack, not just an appeal, ” he told reporters on Thursday.

He explained, the word ‘treason’ is a translation of “Anslaag”, which means it is an attack or violent attack. This element of violence is now often forgotten, even by the police.

Lecturer in politics at Al-Azhar University in Indonesia, Ujang Komaruddin agreed with Isnur. Because politically the situation is also not included in the treason category. “The plot can be done by people or figures who are disappointed with the government. And the treason movement is usually a pre-condition in which the country’s economy is dying, and secretly or openly the military is behind it,” Komaruddin said on Friday.

However, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto explained that the treason article should indeed be used to take action against planners of treason. Because, according to him, if treason had taken place, the treason article could not be used because the state had already disbanded.

“The meaning is that if planning, preparation for planning, has been carried out, it can only be captured. If it happens, the state will disband, who will stand up for it? Who is the judge? Who demands?” Wiranto said reporters on Friday.

Wiranto stressed that the Constitutional Court in its decision explained, for criminal treason, the legal construction does not need to be perfect. Every planning effort can be categorized as treason. “So, if you have planned, instigated, then prepared in the implementation, you can categorize treason,” he added.

Wiranto also realized that repression with treason articles would get a lot of attention. Therefore, he formed a National Legal Assistance Team to assist in the assessment of speeches that contained elements of treason.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com