Jakarta: A City of Thousand Prison

Jakarta has many nicknames, one of the most famous is the Big Durian. But do you know, if a lot of buildings in Jakarta is a silent witness to the occurrence of terrible event? Many terrible events occurred in these high rise and magnificent buildings in Jakarta.

One of them is a place earned the nickname of Kremlin. The Kremlin is located at Jl. Kramat V No. 16, Central Jakarta. This building was once served as the headquarters of the Central Organization of Indonesian Workers (SOBSI), one of the strongest labor union in Indonesia at that time. When the events of 1965 occurred, SOBSI office forcibly taken over by the army and used as intelligence headquarters and a place to torture activists are thought to be involved in the events of 1965.


There are quite a lot of places that serves as a prison and place of torture for leftist activists in Indonesia, most of them have already changed into the new function. TNI headquarters in Cilangkap was formerly the farm school of the Indonesian Peasant Union (BTI), and was used as a place of torture for Indonesian Communists Party (PKI) members. Women’s Detention Center in Bukit Duri also has been turned into shopping center. Not many know that in this place there were a lot of women activists were tortured in this place. The Home of Effendi Saleh, a former Unilever Union activist is now a part of Hospital of Saint Carolus also served as a place of torture in Jakarta. Jl. Bungur Besar  XVIII No. 10 B also be used as one of the prison and place of torture.

One of the most sadistic torture is a home that located on Jl. Gunung Sahari IV, Central Jakarta. Almost all former political prisoners of PKI ever felt heinous torture in this place. Building that currently planned to serves as Betawi Cultural Center is also one of the prison and place of torture in Jatinegara. Do not forget also that torture also occurred in the building currently occupied by a state agency in charge of promoting human rights. Acacia Hotel in Jl.Kramat Raya No. 73-81 was once the office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and also a place of torture for PKI members.

While in Tangerang, Tangerang is currently a Correction Center for youth, thousands of PKI members served as forced labor. Many political prisoners in this place were died of starvation and infected with various diseases.

If in the era of New Order administration, Nirbaya Detention Center is very famous for being the place to imprison student activists who oppose the New Order. Nirbaya Detention Center was already gone and it’s been changed to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

Note: Picture taken from here

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