INDONESIA: Book bannings spur struggle for political liberty

On December 23, the Indonesian Attorney General’s Department announced the banning of five books. Soon afterwards, it became known that the attorney general is looking at possibly banning another 20 titles. This follows the banning of the film Balibo, which tells the story of Suharto’s invasion of East Timor and the suppression of history textbooks in 2007. There has been no repeal since Suharto’s ouster of any of the book bans imposed during the dictator’s rule.

The five banned books are: Suara Gereja bagi Umat Tertindas Penderitaan Tetesan Darah dan Cucuran Air Mata Umat Tuhan di Papua Barat Harus Diakhiri (The Voice of the Church for the Suffering of the Oppressed: The Spilling of Blood and Tears of God’s People in Papua Must Be Ended) by Cocratez Sofyan Yoman, Enam Jalan Menuju Tuhan (Six Roads to God) by Darmawan, Mengungkap Misteri Keberagaman Agama (Explaining the Mysteries of Religious Diversity) by Syahrudin Ahmad, Dalih Pembunuhan Massa Gerakan 30 September dan Kudeta Soeharto (Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30 Movement and Suharto’s Coup) by John Roosa and Lekra Tak Membakar Buku: Suara Senyap Lembar Kebudayaan Harian Rakjat 1950-1965 (Lekra Did Not Burn Books: The Silent Voice of the Cultural Pages of the Peoples Daily, 1950-65) by Rhoma Dwi Aria Yuliantri and Muhidin M. Dahlan. READ MORE

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