Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Alleged rapists buy freedom

SAMARINDA, East Kalimantan: Police said here on Thursday they had released four youths suspected of raping a 14-year old girl after the suspects paid the victim compensation.

Adj. Sr. Comr. Tikno Handako, chief of the Samarinda Ulu police precinct in East Kalimantan, said the victim withdrew her charges against the suspects named only by their initials as Am, 20, Yan, 17, Her. 18, and Pam, 17.

The four had been detained on charges of sexually assaulting the young teenager on Nov. 16 on Jalan MT. Haryono, Samarinda. The police launched an investigation following a complaint from the victim's mother five days later.

"Both parties have made a joint statement to reach an amicable settlement. So, we can't do anything," Tikno said, adding that the case was closed.

He said the agreement required the suspects to pay an unspecified amount of millions of rupiah as compensation for the victim. --Antara

University student abducted

MEDAN, North Sumatra: Three unidentified men have abducted a university student from his home in Medan, North Sumatra last Monday.

The family of Sofyan Mulia, a student at the Medan Institute of Technology, reported the case to local police on Thursday saying the kidnappers forced Sofyan from his house at Jalan M. Jamil 47 into a black Jeep CJ-7.

The motive behind the abduction of Sofyan, who wears glasses, was not clear.

The case was made public through radio broadcasts by the victim's family, while the police distributed his pictures across the city. --Antara

Hookers protest Ramadhan closures

SURABAYA, East Java: Hundreds of sex workers have staged a demonstration at the Surabaya regency legislative body in East Java, to protest the closure of brothels during Ramadhan.

Joining the rally were becak (pedicab) drivers, street vendors and a number of pimps serving and operating at the Surabaya red light districts of Dolly, Bangunsari and Moro Seneng.

The city's administration recently issued a decree closing the districts and other similar areas during the holy month of Ramadhan.

Bambang Ariyono, a protest coordinator from the People's Communication Forum for Surabaya Localization (Formal), said the demonstrators also condemned "arbitrary actions" by police in arresting prostitutes and pimps.

"Commercial sex workers... need to eat and generate income to provide for their families. If their places of work are closed for a month, how can they earn money?" Bambang asked. --Antara

Armed bandits rob trucks in Riau

PEKANBARU, Riau: At least 10 armed men forced two truck drivers stopped in Riau province to give up their vehicles, local police said on Thursday.

The armed robbery took place early on Tuesday at 02:00 a.m., when the drivers rested in their trucks in Telukpaman village, in the district of Kampar, police said.

The driver of one truck, Sutan Boyon, 45, told police that when he and his friend Yumanda, who drove another truck, were taking a rest, 10 unidentified people approached them and pointed guns at them.

The robbers demanded the keys and threatened to shoot the drivers if they did not comply, the police said, adding that his officers were still investigating the case. --Antara