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February 2007

In late January this year, Aini Chalid passed away in Manila, the Philippines during a heart operation. Aini was a close friend since 1973.

Aini Chalid was one of three people put on trial by the Suharto regime in 1974-75 following the so-called MALARI incident. Aini was a student at Gajah Mada University in 1973-74, one of its best political science students. He was a key figure inhelping produce the first dissident newspaper under the New Order, called Sendi, and one of the most actice students on the ground during the wave of protests against dependence on foreign aid and against political authoritarianism in this period. HE was captured bythe New Order security apparatus in mid 1974 following Suharto's repression of the student movement in January, 1974.

Aini close up.JPG
Aini Chalid

His trial was notable due to tge fact that he refused to be accompanied by a lawyer, stating that the whole affair was a political and nota legal act. He ended his defence at the end of his trial by withdrawing all statements he had made and declaring thatthe trialwas a political drama masterminded by Suharto's Special Operations man, Ali Murtopo. His final defenc please lasted one minute. He was released after serving 3-4 years in gaol.

Below I print the Indonesian language speech read out on my behalf, by my partner Faiza, at the commemoration event held for him, organisded by Hariman Siregar, in the Jakarta Media Centre on 27 January, 2007

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