Indonesian Rape Counselor Murdered

A young woman who counseled ethnic Chinese rape victims was found dead in her Indonesian home from multiple stab wounds and a cut through her throat.

New York-based Human Rights Watch demanded an investigation into the murder and requested that the government provide “better protection” for counselors helping victims raped and tortured during the May riots.

Martadinata Haryono, 17, was a counselor with the Volunteers for Humanity group. Her 20-year-old male neighbor has been arrested for the crime.

Women’s rights activists have argued that the murder of Haryono was not a random act of violence. They believe an intimidation campaign is building in the area. Many activists, including Haryono’s mother, have received death threats due to their involvement with the some 168 rape victims in the riots.

Human rights Watch called on the government to take action on Haryono’s killing and the death threats women are receiving, saying they have “an obligation to conduct fully transparent investigations.”

The occurrence of rapes has been acknowledged by the government, however the military and police believe have stated that their is no evidence of wide-spread sexual assault.


AP and Nando.net - October 12, 1998

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