Category: social politics

Six months after the collapse of the New Order regime in May 1998, students and civil society groups took to the streets to protest against the Special Session of the People’s Consultative Assembly, calling it unconstitutional and  a way to preserve the status quo. The protests soon turned into what will later be called the “Semanggi Tragedy”, named after the four-leaf clover junction near the epicenter of the event, when authorities began shooting at the protesters.  At the nearby Atmajaya University, several protesters were shot dead, including one of its students Bernadus Realino Norma Irmawan or Wawan.

The death of Wawan and his fellow protesters caused a deep grief to their families, but it has also ignited perhaps the longest-running campaign for justice for victims of human rights abuses in Indonesia.  Since January 18, 2007, families of those killed in the shooting has gathered every Thursday in front of the Presidential Palace to remind people of the severe human rights violations that took place then, and to urge fair trial and punishment for those responsible for these events.

Maria Katarina Sumarsih, 65, remembers the moment that changed her life forever like it was yesterday. On the evening of November 13, 1998, a Friday, Sumarsih, her husband, her sibling, and her in-laws rushed to Rumah Sakit Jakarta, the hospital nearest the site of the shooting, after receiving a call informing her that Wawan had been shot. Upon arriving, they were told to look for him in the basement, where the morgue is usually located. There they found some caskets lined up, and in one of them was Wawan’s body.

In her grief, she wanted desperately to bring her son’s remains home, but Chief Investigator at Jakarta Military Police Wempi Hapan asked that the body be autopsied at the state-owned Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital (RSCM). Though Sumarsih was hesitant at first, she eventually agreed after being told that an autopsy was akin to a small procedure.

With the protests and the shooting still ongoing, the trip to RSCM was rough. “The ambulance driver repeatedly shouted, ‘Get your head down! Get your head down! They’re shooting  at us’,” she recalled.

Later the forensic doctor concluded that Wawan was shot with a sharp bullet that is the standard ammunition of the Indonesia National Armed Forces (TNI). The rest was history.

It took awhile before Sumarsih could overcome her grief. For several days she could not eat. She took three months off from work at the Secretariat of the House of Representatives. Until today, she still hasn’t regained her appetite for rice. But one habit that she continues to do these days is laying out a plate, fork, spoon and glass at the dining table, as if her son Wawan would join them for meal.

Since that day, Sumarsih has been trying to seek justice. In early January 2007, she and other family members of human rights abuse victims in a group called  Solidarity of Victims for Justice Network (JSKK) agreed to hold a “silent protest” every Thursday at 4-5 p.m. This later became known as “Thursday Movement” (Aksi Kamisan or just Kamisan).


Pictures of Wawan

Kamisan was inspired by a similar movement of Argentinian mothers who used to stage rallies at Plaza De Mayo, the main square at Buenos Aires across the Presidential Palace. The women were demanding investigations into the disappearance of their children and husbands under the military dictatorship regime of Jorge Videla.

In the last nine years the Thursday Movement has provided a place to channel the voice of families of victims of other human rights abuses perpetrated by the State, from forced evictions, persecuted religious minorities, to LGBT community. Every week, the movement is participated by about 70 people, each carrying a black umbrella calling for justice for the different cases.

“Umbrella symbolizes protection,” she said, adding that the Presidential Palace was chosen as a venue because it represents power.

“If we cannot get protection from the country in this world, we’ll get it from God. If we cannot have justice in this world, we’ll have it from God.”

Black represents her undying love for Wawan: “I love him though he had passed away. My love for him is the same as my love for other victims. Our grief has been transformed into courage to uphold the law and human rights.”


Sumarsih (standing in the middle) in Kamisan

Kamisan has received the attentions of many people, with some providing helps to them. One civil society organization routinely gave transportation fund for families of the victims. Others express their sympathies by donating food and drinks.

There are the occasional critics, however.

“A reporter once asked us why we let the victims of the 1965 events join us,” Sumarsih recalled, citing the year when the violent purge of communist sympathizers by the State that led to the death of hundreds of thousands in Indonesia began.

“I told the reporter that this movement has nothing to do with ideology. It’s purely about humanity.”

Sumarsih’s family is very supportive of the movement. Her husband Arief Priyadi is a scholar at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and before the Kamisan started, he was also involved in the advocacy for the shooting victims, though currently his work schedule prevented him from active involvement.

Since it started, Kamisan has only been accepted by one president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in 2008. In fact, since November last year, the movement has started to feel the squeeze, with police forcing them to disperse. A couple of times the activists were allowed to stay after they negotiated with the police.

She recalled what happened at a recent Kamisan in early January: “Right after we opened our umbrellas, the police began coming at us from right, left, and back. They were instructed to take us, though that didn’t happen.”

She would’ve liked to be taken to the police station, she said. At least there the group would have the police’s ear with the hope that what they demanded would eventually reach the President. The police have a reason to disperse them, she said. Article 9, Law No. 9, 1998 about Freedom of Expression in Public rules that a public protest must be conducted at a minimum of 100 meters distance from the fence of the presidential palace. But this law was never really enforced before.

“Yes, I break the rule that says protests must be at least 100 meters away from the fence, but the government broke the law by killing my son,” she would tell the police.



Despite the challenges and obstacles, Sumarsih doesn’t let them discourage her.

“Sometimes I feel pessimistic about our fight, because it is exhausting to keep on going. But I place my hope in Jokowi, because he has committed to resolving human rights abuse cases and ending impunity,” she said, referring to President Joko Widodo by his popular moniker.

“In his speech on December 10, 2015, the President said that taking steps of reconciliation as well as taking judicial and non-judicial measures requires courage, breakthrough and improvement for the better. This gives me hopes,” she added.

aksi kamisan 9 tahun

Ninth Years of Kamisan

This story has been published in ,  you can see the original version in Indonesian here . All pictures are mine, except the last picture.



Last November, I had chance to cover life of Hazara refugees in Indonesia. I have been interested in refugees related issues for the last two years, since following news about Syrian conflict. Refugees has become the center of global media spotlight. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that the number of Syrian refugees exceed 4 millions for the first time.

In general, refugee crisis isn’t only about Syria. Hazara refugees story are tragic as others. Hazara people have lived hundred years as minority in Afghanistan . To make the matter worse, they experience double discrimination because, for many people, the religion they practice is different from the one most people practice. Most of them are Shiite Muslims in the Sunni Muslims majority nation. Besides, the way the look is also different from the way most people look. The Hazara people have Asiatic look and almost appear to look Chinese or Mongol.


Some of many Hazara refugees who attend futsal friendly game


Some other refugees who also attend futsal friendly game

When the pro-communism government came on power in Afghanistan in 1980s, the pressures on Hazaras reduced but the situation changed drastically after the fall of them. Then, the Hazaras were systemically under persecution by different militia groups. When Taliban was ruling on Afghanistan, the Hazaras again faced massacre and forced displacement. After Taliban was overthrown in 2001, it was thought that their situation would also change but in reality, as a movement, Taliban is still exist. And last November, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) linked–militia beheaded seven people from Hazara ethnic in the southern province of Zabul following their kidnapping a month before. Three women and a child were among of the victims.

Many Hazaras have been forced to seek refuge overseas, and some of them ended up in Indonesia as a transit place in their journey to find a safer place to live. They then apply for refugee status to the UN refugee agency, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Unfortunately, they cannot attend school or work legally.

In Cisarua, West Java, a group of teenage girls from Afghanistan have found a surprising escape from the boredom and seeming hopelessness of their lives: futsal. Twelve-year-old Banfsha Mudaber arrived in Indonesia from Herat Province in the western part of Afghanistan with her parents and four siblings in December 2013. The Mudabers flew to Malaysia before continuing to Indonesia by boat together with some 24 other people. Like many of their countrymen, they settled temporarily in Cisarua, Bogor, about 80km away from Jakarta, while awaiting resettlement, which could take years.

Banfsha cannot attend a formal school. Every day from 6 A.M. to noon she studies at the Refugee Learning Center, which was set up with some international support by other refugees. To kill time, Banfsha and her 14-year old sister Nooria often played football with other kids. Inspired by a friendly match of the boys’ football team, some girls from the Refugee Learning Center formed a football team. This was something unthinkable in their own country.


Banfsha was playing futsal. She refused to show her face, so i respected her decision.

“Our parents did not allow us to play football at home because there were a lot of killing, kidnapping, and shooting. It just wasn’t safe,“ said Banfsha. And then there is also cultural barrier. “Many families think that if girls play football, they are bad girls,” she added.

But eventually the parents allowed their daughters to play. The team later became a futsal team, which is an indoor version of the mini football. Said Banfsha’s sister Nooria, 14: “It was my father who wants us to play football.”


Nooria also refused to show her face, so i took her picture from behind

On the day I visited them, the two were playing in a friendly match with a team from another refugees learning center. Nooria and Banfsha said they are passionate about futsal. Playing futsal makes them feel healthy and fresh.

The girls’ futsal team is led by Said Sadeq Akbari, 33, who had been a coach for the last 13 years. He used to coach a men’s football team in a sports center in Tehran, Iran. Akbari said he was happy with the progress of the girls’ futsal team.

“I coach the girls to make them healthy and to prepare them if they eventually decide to play futsal or football more seriously,” he said. ”They are good players, but if they have more facilities, they will get even better,” he added.


Coach Said was standing in the middle

Life may be safer in Indonesia, where they don’t fear being massacred or beheaded by the militias, but it is not any easier, with limited money and a future that remains unclear. Since refugees cannot legally work, they often have to rely on their savings.

“As refugees, we could be here for four to five years, and we don’t have much money. We don’t know where the UNHCR will sent us,” said Banfsha, adding, “but wherever they send us, it will not be a problem.”

She told me her hopes for the future: “I want to become a writer or a journalist like you, because I want to know about refugees. I want to know what their problems are.”

Despite their hardship, they never lose hope and faith.

“Our purpose of coming here is to be safe and to have education. By having education we can improve our life,” said Nooria.


Refugee Learning Nest girls futsal team

And last week, surprisingly and accidentally, I met 4 Hazara refugees in Central Park Mall, West Jakarta. I seems that I get beter in recognizing faces. Before, I even couldn’t distinguish Hazara and Chinese because they are both Mongoloid. I told them that three months ago, I wrote reportage about Hazara refugees in an online magazine. Then I talk to them for more than 30 minutes.

Miki, who previously lived in Kabul said  : “Of course I know that every country has its own problem. But here, in Indonesia, i get more freedom”. Other refugee, Ahmad, told his risky journey by boat from Malaysia to Medan. Most of them arrived in Indonesia by boat, which was a very risky journey.

Many people still asking why “refugees don’t look poor”. I told you one thing : most people who seek refuge in other countries don’t feel safe. SAFETY is a BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. Hazara people fleed their home countries because they fear persecution based on their race and religion.

As for me, my encounter with refugees leave me a deep impression. I keep asking why,  in this twentieth century , there is still religious and ethnic persecution. This is make me sad and broken heart. Then I realized that the only winner in war is weapon industry. Civilians suffer the most in war. Making the world a better place to live is not an easy task. As long as most people worship money and power, peace is only an illusion.

hazara refugees boys

Hazara refugees that I met accidentally at Central Park Mall


This story has been published in  . You can see the original version here . All pictures are mine.




On Saturday night (16 January 2016), a number of non government organizations and community organizations held in solidarity with victims of Jakarta bombing. Hundreds of people participated in the rally in sidewalk near Starbucks Cafe which was one of the site attacks. Many of them brought a banner read : “We Are Not Afraid”.


People brought a banner read : “Kami Tidak Takut” (We Are Not Afraid). Source : private collection


The Commission of For The Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS) was one of the NGOs that participated in this rally.  Coordinator of KONTRAS, Haris Azhar said that people were not only expressed their their feeling of unfrightened but also rejected violence. “Terrorism is a form of violence that should be rejected”, he said in front of Starbucks Thamrin on Saturday night, January 16, 2016.

Azhar also emphasized that violence can not be combatted by violence. He invites people to participate in preventing terrorism in good ways .

Other people who joined this rally was Sumarsih. Besides condemning terror, she also stated that terror can be committed by the state. Her son, Benardinus Irmawan , was killed by gunfire on 13 November 1998 during riots and protests against the government of President BJ Habibie. The incident known as the Semanggi Tragedy.


Sumarsih is praying . Source : private collection

Earlier, On Thursday morning (14 January), multiple explosion and gun attack rocked the Indonesian capital. In that incident, eight people were killed, including five terrorists and more than 20 people were injured. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for the bloody events.

In response of  the attack, Indonesian authorities raises security alert to the highest level. Police officers with rifles are deployed in some places such as shopping malls, foreign embassies , five stars hotel, as well as places near to site attacks.


Police officers with rifle are deployed in front of Starbucks, which was one the site attacks. Source : private collection

Tanggal 30 Agustus diperingati sebagai Hari Internasional Bagi Para Korban Penghilangan Paksa. Secara singkat penghilangan paksa terjadi ketika seseorang diculik atau ditahan oleh institusi negara atau organisasi politik atau pihak ke-3 dengan persetujuan dan dukungan negara atau organisasi politik, diikuti oleh penolakan untuk mengakui nasib dan keberadaan orang tersebut.

Menjelang kejatuhan presiden Suharto (1997-1998), terjadi penculikan aktivis mahasiswa dan organisasi kemasyarakatan. Berdasarkan data yang dikumpulkan oleh Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan (KontraS) , masih ada 13 korban yang hingga saat ini tidak diketahui keberadaannya. Mereka adalah Dedy Umar Hamdun, Herman Hendrawan, Hendra Hambali, Ismail, M. Yusuf, Nova Al Katiri, Petrus Bima Anugrah, Sony, Suyat, Ucok Munandar Siahaan, Yani Afri, Yadin Muhidin, dan Wiji Thukul.

Seorang demonstran membawa foto 13 orang hilang yang saat ini tidak diketahui keberadaannya. Sumber foto :

Setiap hari Kamis, sejak tanggal 18 Januari 2007, para anggota keluarga korban berkumpul di seberang Istana Negara untuk melakukan aksi diam melawan impunitas. Aksi ini dikenal dengan nama “Kamisan”. Tujuan utama dari aksi ini adalah meminta pemerintah mengusut tuntas kasus kasus pelanggaran HAM berat masa lalu, tidak hanya kasus penghilangan paksa melainkan juga kasus penembakan mahasiswa Universitas Trisakti dan Semanggi, diantaranya.


                                                     Aksi Kamisan 27 Agustus 2015. Foto koleksi pribadi .

Penghilangan paksa tidak hanya terjadi di Indonesia. Setahun yang lalu, 43 pelajar di salah satu universitas di Ayotzinapa “menghilang” setelah diduga keras diculik oleh polisi setelah menghadiri unjuk rasa. Pihak berwenang mengatakan bahwa polisi menyerahkannya ke kelompok mafia narkoba bernama Guerreros Unidos yang membantai mereka. Namun, keluarga korban marah dengan ketidakseriusan penanganan kasus itu dan menolak percaya jika anak-anak mereka telah tewas.

Berbagai cara dilakukan untuk menyuarakan kepedihan keluarga korban, salah satunya adalah melalui sebuah puisi. Puisi yang ditulis oleh Marcela Ibarra Mateos, seorang dosen di Universidad Iberoamericana di Puebla berjudul : Mamá, Si Desaparezco, Adónde Voy? (Mom, If I Disappear, Where Do I Go ).

Pengunjuk rasa di Mexico City menuntut pengusutan kasus "penghilangan paksa" 43 pelajar universitas di Ayotzinapa. Sumber :

Pengunjuk rasa di Mexico City menuntut pengusutan kasus “penghilangan paksa” 43 pelajar universitas di Ayotzinapa. Sumber :

Selain itu, ada sebuah esai karangan Zen RS yang berjudul “Karena Nyeri itu Tiap Hari, Bukan 5 Tahun sekali” , yang sangat mewakili perasaan keluarga korban penghilangan paksa yang saat ini masih menunggu kejelasan nasib orang orang yang sangat disayanginya. Berikut kutipan kata kata dalam esai itu :

“Karena untuk sebuah cinta yang dalam, kehilangan akan selalu aktual. Karena untuk kerinduan yang menahun, kehilangan tak akan pernah basi. Hilangnya boleh tahun 1975 atau 1998, tapi nyerinya bisa datang kapan saja sampai entah. Bagi mereka yang kehilangan orang-orang tercinta karena kekerasan yang dilakukan negara dan aparatusnya, HAM bukanlah pasal-pasal dalam konstitusi atau kalimat-kalimat indah nan bersayap dalam sebait puisi. Bagi mereka, HAM adalah sesuatu yang konkrit dan sehari-hari. HAM adalah ketika bangun pagi dan mendapati kamar anak tercinta masih kosong tak berpenghuni. HAM adalah isak sedih dalam hati saat menatap foto suami yang sudah mati. HAM adalah mulut yang diam terkunci tiap kali ada anak bertanya: Bu, kapan bapak pulang?”

Isi puisi karangan Marcella Ibarra pun tak kalah mengharukan. Berikut adalah terjemahan puisi itu yang dikutip dari situs web

Mom, if I disappear, where will I go?
I don’t know, son.
I only know that if you disappear, I would look for you everywhere on earth and below the earth.
I would knock on every door of every house.
Asking every single person who I find along my way.
I would insist, every single day, at every moment, that I was obligated to look for you until I found you.
And I would want you not to be afraid, because I am looking for you.
And if they didn’t listen to me, my son,
My voice would grow stronger and I would shout your name in the streets.

I would break glass and tear down doors to search for you.
I would burn buildings so everyone would know how much I love you and how much I want you back.
I would paint walls with your name and I wouldn’t let anyone forget you.
I would look for others who are also searching for their children, so that together we could find you and them.
And my son, I would want you not to be afraid, because we would be looking for you.
If you didn’t disappear, my son–oh, I want that you not!–I would shout the names of those who have disappeared.
I would write their names on walls.
I would hug, even from a distance, all of the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers who are searching for their disappeared.
I would walk arm in arm with them in the streets.
I would not allow their names to be forgotten.
I would want, my son, for none of them to be afraid because we would be looking for them.

Turkish Super League began on August 14. Now, some top players started to follow Wesley Sneijder’s (Galatasaray) and Didier Drogba’s (former Galatasaray player) path. They were Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Robin van Persie, Nani (Fenerbahce), Samuel Eto’o (Antalyaspor), Mario Gomes and Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas). Not to mention continued speculation linking Victor Valdes with a move to Galatasaray.

With the transfer of top players, it seems that Turkish league will be more attractive, especially for fans of big clubs (Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray). But behind the glamorous of world of new signings, Turkish league existence is being threatened.

Last season, the spectators has fallen dramatically. It happened since the implementation of new ticketing system called passolig by Turkish Football Federation (TFF). This system requires football supporters to acquire a card called passolig to buy a ticket. The problem is that the passolig contains personal details including name and bank account number.

Initially, passolig was introduced as implementation of Law Number 6222 of 2011 on Prevention of Violence and Disorder at Sporting Events. Hoooliganism taking place in big some of big matches triggered TFF to take strict measure, one of them was applying passolig system.

In fact, passolig was negatively responded by football fans. They boycotted the matches in protest at passolig. As a consequence, attendances in stadium dropped sharply. According to , the number of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray fans fell by an average of 15.335, 22.241 and 16 255 people per game.

In a country like Turkey, football can’t be separated from politics. And passolig accused as a part of the attempts to spy on citizens. In addition, passolig also considered violating protection of personal data.

People in Turkey have used football as a tool to exercise freedom of expression. Passolig was implemented last season, 1 year after after anti-government protest in Gezi Park, Istanbul, which was spread to other cities in Turkey. At that time, supporters of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray took to the street to participate in such protest.

In December 2014, Çarşı, a leftist supporter group of Besiktas, was indicted by prosecutor on charges of trying to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan (now President of Turkey) on that protest. This result in lower public trust in government.

Withdrawal of Sponsorship

As of January 2015, due to the decrease in the number of attendance in stadium, Yildiz Holding withdrew as a sponsor. Yildiz Holding is a Turkish top business group which has become a sponsor of TFF, Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. In his letter to TFF, Murat Ulker, owner of Yildiz Holding (the richest man in the Turkey according to Forbes magazine) said that Turkish football brand value has dropped and the games become unattractive.

Ulker also criticised on passolig system. He said nobody wants their information to be collected. He also slammed TFF decision regarding foreign player quota. “Teams can now play with 11 foreign players. This is irrational. Then what will the Turkish players do?”

Yildiz Holding is known for its contributions to sport activities in Turkey. Over the past nine years, their contribution to Turkish football reached 215 million US dollars. The decision was really unfortunate, because it doesn’t rule out any other companies withdrawal from sponsorship.

Besides passolig and the withdrawal of sponsor, Turkish clubs are also in debt. According to data from the Stoxx Europe Football Index released by, Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor were on the list of 22 football clubs with the highest debt.

Interestingly, despite the debt, Turkish clubs signed top players. Fenerbahce, for example, agreed to pay Van Persie as much as 6.2 million US dollars per season. Similarly, Galatasaray wasn’t left behind by bringing Lukas Podolski.

How could it be? Emre Deliveli, a Turkish economic consultant who was interviewed by said : ” Galatasaray is buying because Fenerbahce is buying, and Fenerbahce is buying because Galatasaray is buying “.

Meanwhile, in April this year, some Besiktas assets were seized by court for its debt amounting to 3.8 million US dollars to an advertising company called Active Tanitim.

Security Threat

Last year, Donetsk’s Donbass Arena Stadium bombed as a consequence of conflict between the armed forces of Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist. As a result of this conflict, Shaktar Donetsk had to move its headquarters to Kiev and its training ground to Lviv.

The situation in Turkey is not as bad as in Ukraine. However, on 22 July, a suicide bombing by suspected ISIS supporters rocked Suruc (a city on the border with Syria). One of the participants of Super League, Gaziantepspor, has its headquartered in Gaziantep, which sits on the border between Turkey and Syria .

Potential security threat also faced by Istanbul and other cities. In fact, terrorist cells also spread in big cities. Fortunately, Turkish government responded by conducting large scale anti-terrorist operations in 13 provinces (including Istanbul) shortly after the bombing.

Other examples of terrorist attack which “disrupted” football competition were bombing of the British Consulate and HSBC building in Istanbul by Al-Qaeda terrorist network in 2003. As a result, 2 European matches, Juventus vs Galatasaray and Besiktas vs Chelsea, were moved from Turkey to a neutral venue.

In the end, the existence of Turkish football depends not only on the technical aspects of football. Social politics and economics aspect also play an active role. Business and technical aspect of football remain the domain of club and TFF. However, security is “absolute domain” of government. Will the Turkish football climb out of this crisis? Only time will tell.


This article was translated from Indonesian. The original version has been published in Topskor Daily Sport Newspaper, 15 August 2015 . You can see the original version below .

After a month-long competition, the United States of America won FIFA Women’s World Cup for the third time, beating Japan 5-2 in the finals early this month. The thrilling final match happened shortly after the US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage on 26 June. The decision is a reminder of the long battle against homophobia in the sport.

It is an undeniable fact that football still has a problem with homophobia. In a press conference in 2013, FIFA President Sepp Blatter evaded a question on this issue: “This, I think, is not the time to bring it up now. If you bring it to my attention, then I should have a look at it, but I cannot give you a definite answer.”

When Mexican fans chanted anti-gay slurs in Men’s World Cup 2014 in Brazil, FIFA investigated the case, but finally dropped it after its disciplinary committee considered the word “puto” not a derogatory term. In fact, “puto” in Spanish could be translated as “gay”. The world of football has always been a men’s world, with misogyny, sexism and homophobia being common ingredients.

Women in football have had to battle sexism and discrimination, and homophobia adds another layer to this. But women’s football has been less harsh when dealing with homosexuality than its male counterparts. It is commonly known that many female footballers are lesbians, and in recent years, more of them have come out.

During FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, Swiss International forward, Ramona Bachmann for the first time talked about her girlfriend openly to Swiss popular newspaper, Sonntagsblick. She decided to come out publicly after Switzerland beat Ecuador with 10-1, three of the goals were made by her. It was a perfect timing for Bachmann to reveal that she was in relationship with Camille Lara, a 21-year-old student.

“When I hold hands with Camille on the street in Switzerland, people turn their heads. This is not the case in Sweden, and not here in Canada,” said the 24-year-old forward who had been called “the Female Messi from Switzerland”. Bachmann was already pretty open on her Instagram, sharing some pictures of her and her girlfriend.

Bachmann is not alone. There are 17 World Cup players who are open about their homosexuality. Two-time World Cup winners and Germany Women’s National Team, Nadine Angerer talked about her bisexuality in 2010.

In her biography, Angerer said: “I have been with men. But, I do love women only.” Many female players who are openly lesbian are in romantic relationships with their teammates, but Angerer avoided romance with colleagues,

“With a footballer, let alone a fellow player, I’ve never been together…. Never fuck the Company,” she writes in her book Im richtigen Moment: Meine Story. Angerer has been in a relationship with Magda Golombek since 2013.

The US Women’s National Team veteran Abby Wambach, who just won the 3rd World Cup for USA is also open about her relationship. In 2013 she married her former teammate Sarah Huffman.

“After I got married, I definitely had a shift in emotional devotion. Forever, it was just soccer – passion, life, love. Then I got married, and I had to transfer some of my energy. I want to be my best for my country, but I also made a really big promise and choice to be the best in my marriage. That has not always been the easiest thing to manage,” said Wambach to The New York Times in 2013.

Isabelle Herlovsen is the daughter of famous international footballer Kai Erik Herlovsen. When she was born, her father played for Borussia Mochengladbach. She came out as a lesbian publicly in July 2011, but had been out to her friends and family since her teen years. It felt natural to her when she wanted to be true to herself. She believes that it is important to be open publicly.

The Canadian International goalkeeper, Erin McLeod is in a relationship with fellow National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side, Houston Dash teammates Ella Masar.

McLeod wrote in her blog: “As I get older I realize how important it is to be true to exactly who you are – and to have the courage to be just that – so that all young people can grow up in a world that is accepting of all people – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or heterosexual.”

Her partner Masar, who is very religious, came out in an honest article in Pitchside Report, telling of her current love, “That has always been my deal with Erin – that was my word to her that love will always win.” Masar and McLeod shared their moments together on their Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Katie Duncan (nee Hoyle), who played for New Zealand’s national team, just wedded former Football Ferns (the team’s nickname) team member Priscilla Duncan. After the wedding, Katie adjusted her life and joined Swiss Nationalliga side FC Zurich to be closer with her wife.

The Swedish team has several openly lesbian players. Nilla Fischer is married to Maria Michaela in November 2013 and had her upper arm tattooed with the declaration “I love her. That is the beginning and the end of everything.” She was named “LGBTQ Person of the Year” in 2014 in Sweden.

The Swedish International goalkeeper, Hedvig Lindahl is married and has a son with her wife Sabine. Swedish midfielder, Caroline Seger, who has won over a century caps for the country’s national team since her debut in 2005, used to conceal her sexuality, but decided to speak out to help other gay and lesbian young people who might be struggling with their identity. Lisa Dahlkvist, daughter of former pro footballer Sven Dahlkvist, came out publicly as lesbian in 2008 and is now in a relationship with Jessica Danielson.

There is no secret about the US Women’s National Team midfielder, Megan Rapinoe, who came out as lesbian in 2012. She said: “I just felt like I was leaving something out and omitting something and not being 100 percent truthful. Even though I never lied about anything.”

England and Arsenal Ladies defender, Casey Stoney, came out publicly in February 2014, and then announced that her partner, Megan Harris was pregnant with twins. Harris gave birth to Teddy and Tilly, in November 2014.

“I have struggled to accept myself for many years, I have had no reason to feel that way but there is still a stigma, you still hear certain abuse thrown at other people and think, We are still living in the dark ages sometimes. But actually what coming out has shown me is that society is changing for the better. I feel lucky to live in this country,” Stoney told the BBC.

While men’s football leagues are reluctant to support the LGBT community, female football teams offer acceptance. Robbie Rogers is a member of LA Galaxy football club and a former US men’s national football team member. In February 2013, he came out as gay, making him the second gay football player in Britain to come out in public after Justin Fashanu. Several weeks after being released by Leeds United, he announced his retirement. Rogers claimed his sexuality had become a dark secret and he was forced to leave football, because of attitudes towards homosexuality in the sport. But in April 2013 he decided to return and joined LA Galaxy.

Breaking down the barrier of homophobic attitudes is only possible if players, fans, and FIFA stand together. As is stated in FIFA statutes, the role of FIFA is to promote the game “globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values.” However, its core mission is mutually incompatible with the reality on the ground. The world’s highest football organization has a lot of work to catch up.


This article has been publish here . Read also my article about “Discrimination Against Women Footballer In Spain

Dear Mehmet,

How are you? Well I’m sure that you are not ok. Living in detention has never been ok because you have no freedom. As an investigative journalist, writing is the greatest happiness for you. I’m sure that your colleague in Taraf newspaper and the readers are missing you so much.

Source :

                  Source :

Dear Mehmet, I don’t know about you. I’m just an ordinary Indonesian girl who likes keeping up with Turkish political news. I knew about your detention by reading turkish online newspaper. I’m so sad with what has happened to you. It reminds me of what happened to an Indonesian journalist several years ago. Do you want to know about it,  Mehmet?

Fuad Muhammad “Udin” Syafruddin was an investigative journalist, just like you. Tragically, he was killed at his house on 16 August 1996. Until now, his mysterious murder has not been resolved.  To know more about the case, Mehmet, you need to understand political situation in Indonesia at that time. In 1996, we were still living under the authoritarian regime of General Soeharto. At that time, General Soeharto oppressed critical journalists and political opponents, just like what happens in your country right now.

Picture of Udin. Source :

                    Picture of Udin. Source :

Udin worked at Bernas Daily Newspaper in Yogyakarta. Before he died, he wrote a series of articles on corruption in Bantul regency.  His murder became a national issue because it was presumed that local government officials was involved. Instead, police didn’t arrest the real murderer but sacrificed a man named Dwi Sumaji a.k.a Iwik. That stupid police charged Iwik with : “murder because of jealousy”. Later, he was acquitted by judges due to lack of evidence.

Dear Mehmet, several weeks ago I read that you have been transferred to unhygienic cells with inhumane condition along with Hidayet Karaca (president of Samanyolu Broadcasting Group) and some police officers. Even they didn’t provide you  with fork and spoon to eat! That’s why on the first paragraph in this letter I said that you’re not ok. Besides, I’ve read that you were detained because of releasing classified documents by publishing it on Taraf newspaper. Well, whatever was it, you just did your job, for the sake of public interest. Nevertheless, I understand that some people don’t like what you did . “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”, said Voltaire.

Sadly, in your country, journalist imprisonment is becoming a trend. On 1 December 2014, Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) released a report on imprisonment of journalists worldwide. It was said that there were 7 Turkish journalists who were being jailed. And I’m sure that the number will be increasing because more and more journalists have been arrested and detained so far in 2015.

In my country right now, none of journalist are taken to court and imprisoned but sometimes they are always become target of violence by police. Freedom, justice, and democracy are quite expensive here in my beloved country, dear. Uhmmm…what else should I write?? Ah, I remember that you were detained on 2 March 2015. It means that you were detained 5 days before your birthday!!!! Celebrating (or not celebrating it ?) your birthday in detention was tragic. I can’t imagine the pain that you bear! 

Dear Mehmet, I hope you keep going strong although it’s very hard. I hope political situation in your country will be better as soon as possible. Let’s hope and pray that the best is yet to come after the general election on 7 June. Deposuit Potentes de Sede et Extalavat Humiles (He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted those who were humble). Keep fighting, Mehmet, hiçbir zaman yalnız yürümeyeceksin (you’ll never walk alone). As you said when you were handcuffed by the police : “I’m going to bury them [those pressing charges against me] in the trash bin of history. These handcuffs are my pride. Journalism is my pride”. Never lose your pride, dear!

Baransu was handcuffed. Source:

                  Baransu was handcuffed. Source:


On 28 May, Turkish people celebrate the second year anniversary of Gezi Park protest. The protest, which lasted for approximately one month, was initiated by a group of environmentalists in Istanbul opposing the construction of a replica of Ottoman military barracks in Gezi Park.

The problem is that the Gezi Park is one of the few remaining green spaces in Istanbul. Rumors suggested that not only the replicas which would be built there, but also the shopping center. Various sources claimed that the decision to redevelop Gezi Park into a replica of Ottoman military barracks made too quickly, without public consultation, and without open discussion. This protest quickly spread to various cities in Turkey.

As time went by, this protest turned into anti-government protests. Various circle of society, ranging from students to civil society groups expressed their disappointment with Prime Minister’s (Reccep Tayyip Erdogan) political style. Actually, this protest was the culmination of public discontent with the government. After the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the 2002 General Election, Turkey’s economy and political situation were relatively stable. There were no turbulence until 2011. After a period of tranquility was ended, Erdogan began to show his negative side by applying authoritarian policies.

In 2013, Freedom House, a US based NGO issued a report on democracy index in Turkey.  According to the report, Turkey remained a “partly free country”. One of the reasons was because in 2012, Turkey imprisoned more journalists than any other country in the world. In addition, political opponents were oppressed and sometimes they were subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.

Participation of Football Supporters Clubs In Gezi Park Protest

One of those groups which participated in the protest were football fans in Istanbul, especially the supporters of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. Among those supporter groups, Beşiktaş fans were the most in numbers, followed by Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. The main Galatasaray groups stayed away from the protest after joining in initially because their leaders are close to AKP and Erdogan. Nonetheless, it did not stop other Galatasaray supporters from showing up.

It is unimaginable that thousands of football fans from the rival clubs united by protests against the ruling government. They called their collaborative action as “Istanbul United”. Their action was documented in a movie called “Istanbul United”, which were directed by Olli Waldhauer and Farid Eslam.

A most famous group of Beşiktaş supporters called “Çarşı” was the largest in number and the most influential. Çarşı is a “left wing” supporters group and the most politically active. Gezi Park protest was not unprecedent action for them. During the 2005/2006 football season, they collaborated with Greenpeace to oppose the installation of a nuclear power station in Sinop (a Turkish city near the black sea).

Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray fans. Source :

Courage shown by Çarşı during Gezi Park protest was not without risk. After the protest many of them were arrested, detained, and brought to trial. They were charged with “plotting a coup”. Furthermore, the indictment was explained that they were “attempting to capture the Prime Ministry’s offices with the aim of creating “Arab Spring-like upheaval”.

Criminal indictment against Çarşı received many criticisms, one of them was from an international human rights NGO, Human Rights Watch (HRW). ” Charging these Beşiktaş football club fans as enemies of the state for joining a public protest is a ludicrous travesty. It reveals a great deal about the enormous pressure being exerted on Turkey’s justice system by the government” , said Emma Sinclair-Webb, the senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch. “.

Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) deputy Atilla Kart described the indictment as a strong indication of fascist rule in Turkey. “The government wishes to put the entire society under pressure. This is fascism. The government calls all acts by civilians, which include prevention of the uprooting of trees and protection of the environment, coup attempt”, he complained.

Support for Çarşı also came from Borussia Dortmund fans. When Dortmund played against Frieburg in Signal Iduna Park stadium on 13 of September 2014, Dortmund supporters unfurled a banner reading : “Do not give up” and “Freedom for the Ultras (Çarşı) and Turkey”.

Until now, the trial against 35 members of Çarşı is still ongoing. Çarşı continued to actively voice the oppressed, for example by joining May Day march. What Beşiktaş,  Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray did in Gezi Park protest is a proof that football can play a unifying role in a fight against tyranny. Perhaps, for many people, justice, democracy, and freedom have died in Turkey. However, the struggle will continue whenever and at any cost.

Çarşı participated in May Day

Çarşı participated in May Day. Source :

Bu makale, adalet, demokrasi ve özgürlük için mücadele eden türk halkına ithaf edilmiştir (This article is dedicated to Turkish people who are defending justice, democracy, and freedom)


*This article was translated from Indonesian. Please read the original version here .

Ketika saya melihat retweet dari seorang wartawan foto terkenal, Arbain Rambey, mengenai event :  Witnessing the World” : The Journey of Doctors Without Borders (MSF)” , tanpa pikir panjang, saya langsung merencakan untuk menghadiri event itu. Sudah sejak lama saya mendengar nama Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), tepatnya sejak mereka memenangi Nobel Perdamaian pada tahun 1999 . Selama ini, saya tidak banyak mengetahui mengenai mereka kecuali mengenai fakta bahwa mereka adalah organisasi yang memberikan pelayanan medis di tempat-tempat paling membutuhkan. Adanya event ini benar benar “membuka mata saya” dan membuat saya sadar bahwa organisasi ini pantas dijuluki “pahlawan kemanusiaan”.


Event ini terdiri dari pameran foto dan pemutaran film. Pameran foto diadakan pada tanggal 11-17 Mei di Pacific Place Mall, Jakarta. Saya sendiri menghadiri acara ini pada hari Sabtu, 16 Mei. Salah satu karyawan yang bekerja di kantor MSF Jakarta mengatakan bahwa pameran foto ini sengaja diadakan di mall agar menarik perhatian para pengunjung. Cara penyajian foto-foto ini pun cukup menarik. Pengunjung diajak untuk sedikit belajar sejarah. Foto-foto dipamerakan berdasarkan tahun, dimulai dari tahun pendirian MSF hingga misi terakhir yang mereka jalani.


Foto yang Mengilustrasikan Pendirian MSF

MSF didirikan di Paris, Perancis pada tahun 1971. Mereka adalah sebuah organisasi non pemerintah , non profit, dan independen. Misi mereka adalah memberikan bantuan darurat serta layanan medis bagi masyarakat yang terkena dampak konflik bersenjata, wabah, bencana alam, serta orang orang yang yang tidak mendapatkan layanan kesehatan memadai. MSF memberikan bantuan kepada masyarakat tanpa memandang ras, agama, jender, dan pandangan politik.


Salah satu tugas yang dilakukan MSF pada tahun 1984, yaitu memberikan layanan kesehatan kepada korban kelaparan di Ethiophia.

Seorang dokter memberikan layanan kesehatan kepada korban tsunami di Aceh.

Seorang dokter memberikan layanan kesehatan kepada korban tsunami di Aceh.

Hal yang perlu diingat adalah bahwa tidak hanya dokter saja yang beperan dalam terciptanya pelayanan kesehatan. Jangan lupakan profesi lainnya seperti bidan, perawat, psikolog, teknisi laboratorium, apoteker, petugas logistik, insinyur, administrasi, dan juga staf divisi Sumber Daya Manusia (SDM). Pada intinya, berkat kerjasama mereka semua-lah sebuah pelayanan kesehatan dapat dilaksanakan di sebuah tempat.

Seorang petugas logistik sedang bertugas di Aceh terkait pelayanan kesehatan yang diberikan oleh MSF kepada korban tsunami disana.

Seorang petugas logistik sedang bertugas di Aceh terkait pelayanan kesehatan yang diberikan oleh MSF kepada korban tsunami disana.

Terlepas dari semua pekerjaan hebat yang dilakukan oleh mereka semua untuk mengusahakan adanya layanan kesehatan, tentunya ada berbagai macam hambatan dan bahaya yang mengintai. Hal itu digambarkan dengan sangat jelas dalam film dokumenter  Access to Danger Zone dan Living in Emergency.

Film Access to Danger Zone ini mengungkap strategi yang digunakan oleh MSF dalam misi menyelamatkan nyawa manusia di tengah tengah perang paling berbahaya seperti di Afghanistan, Somalia, dan Kongo. Pada film ini ada berbagai wawancara dengan narasumber dari MSF, Palang Merah Internasional, dan Perserikatan Bangsa Bangsa (PBB). Sementara itu, film Living in Emergency menceritakan mengenai keseharian 4 dokter dalam perjuangan mereka untuk menyediakan layanan medis di tengah kondisi ekstrim.

Setelah pemutaran film, para penonton diberikan kesempatan untuk mengajukan pertanyaan kepada narasumber. Salah satu narsumber yang hadir pada acara ini adalah dokter Heru, yang pernah bertugas dalam misi MSF di Bangladesh, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan Selatan, dan Afghanistan. Dari sesi tanya jawab, saya dapat mengungkap mengenai beberapa hal:

1. MSF adalah organisasi independen yang tidak menerima donasi dari pemerintah. Sebagian besar dana yang mereka dapatkan berasal dari sumbangan individu. Donatur terbesar MSF adalah Brad Pitt dan Angelina Jolie.

2. Dalam semua misi mereka selama ini, MSF tidak pernah dikawal oleh tentara, kecuali pada saat misi di Somalia. Mengapa mereka memilih untuk tidak dikawal oleh tentara di daerah konflik? Karena mereka bersikap “netral”. Pengawalan oleh tentara akan menunjukkan kesan adanya sikap tidak netral. MSF harus bernegosiasi dengan semua pihak, baik pemerintah maupun kelompok pemberontak. Misi di Somalia adalah pengecualian karena Somalia dianggap sebagai negara yang sangat tidak aman karena disana seolah “tidak ada pemerintah”. Mengingat pernah adanya kasus staf MSF yang diserang dan diculik oleh kelompok milisi bersenjata di Somalia, maka MSF memutuskan untuk menggunakan pengawalan dari “anak buah” para tetua tetua adat disana.  Salah satu korban tewas dalam serangan terhadap MSF di Somalia pada tahun 2011 adalah dokter asal Indonesia, Andrias Karel “Kace” Keiluhu. Berita mengenai kasus tersebut dapat dilihat disini : .

Pada tahun 2013, secara resmi MSF mengakhiri misi mereka di Somalia karena situasi keamanan yang tidak dapat ditoleransi lagi . Serangan yang terus menerus terjadi terhadap para pekerja kemanusiaan membuat mereka mempertimbangkan keberadaan mereka disana. Cerita lengkap mengenai akhir dari misi MSF di Somalia dapat dilihat di link ini :

3. Para pekerja MSF tinggal di sebuah compound yang relatif aman. Meskipun demikian, aktivitas mereka sehari hari dibatasi hanya dari compound dan rumah sakit dan sebaliknya, tentunya karena alasan keamanan.

4. Tidak ada batasan umum untuk menjadi relawan MSF. Selama masih kuat secara fisik dan mental serta lulus tes, selama itu juga seseorang dapat menjadi relawan.

5. Tidaklah mudah untuk memberikan pelayanan kesehatan. Ada kalanya pemerintah atau kelompok bersenjata justru menghambat mereka untuk memberikan bantuan. Apabila terjadi hal seperti ini, maka MSF tidak dapat melakukan apapun. Inilah pentingnya ilmu negosiasi untuk dapat “melunakkan” sikap keras kedua belah pihak.


Dokter Heru memberikan penjelasan mengenai pengalamannya ketika bertugas di daerah konflik.

Seperti kita semua ketahui , tanggal 1 Mei lalu diperingati sebagai Hari Buruh. Perlu diingat bahwa yang dimaksud dengan “buruh” disini bukan hanya mereka yang bekerja di pabrik , melainkan semua pekerja. Direktur dan manajer pun dikategorikan sebagai buruh, karena mereka masih menerima gaji. Sementara itu, penjual siomay langganan anda di pinggir jalan itu tidak dapat dikategorikan sebagai buruh….kecuali apabila dia bekerja untuk “boss” somay. 😀

Kali ini saya ingin membahas sedikit mengenai nasib pekerja media di Indonesia. Pada tanggal 1 Mei lalu, saya sengaja datang datang ke sekitar Bundaran Hotel Indonesia untuk memotret aksi besar besaran dalam rangka perayaan Hari Buruh. Seperti yang pernah saya katakan sebelumnya di beberapa tulisan saya, memotret adalah hobby saya, terlebih memotret aksi demonstrasi, meskipun hal ini tidak ada kaitannya dengan pekerjaan saya di media olahraga. 😀

Satu hal yang membuat saya tertarik adalah adanya pekerja media yang tergabung “Forum Pekerja Media”, yang berpartisipasi di aksi itu. Sebagai seorang pekerja media, tentunya saya sangat tertarik dengan yang mereka lakukan, bahkan saya diajak bergabung. Sayangnya, pada hari itu saya bekerja, jadi saya tidak dapat bergabung dengan mereka sampai akhir. Perlu dicatat disini bahwa yang dimaksud dengan pekerja media bukan hanya jurnalis, melainkan juga mereka semua yang bekerja di media, termasuk mereka yang bekerja di percetakan yang terkait dengan media.

Forum Pekerja Media mengatakan bahwa hingga saat ini mayoritas media tidak memiliki serikat pekerja. Ada kecenderungan bahwa pada saat ini, ancaman kebebasan pers justru datang dari dalam industri media itu sendiri, bukan dari negara. Menurut Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), posisi tawar pekerja media yang buruk karena tidak berserikat itulah yang membuat pemilik media kurang memperhatikan kesejahteraan mereka.. Selain itu, praktek “konvergensi media” membuat beban kerja pekerja media bertambah akan tetapi tidak diiringi dengan peningkatan kesejahteraan.


Belum lagi, yang mengejutkan, ada jurnalis yang berstatus sebagai pekerja outsourcing. Hal ini tidak dapat dibenarkan karena jurnalis adalah bagian dari “pekerjaan inti” di sebuah perusahaan media. Berdasarkan data Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, sebagian jurnalis berstatus tidak tetap. Sebagian dari mereka juga menerima gaji yang rendah , jauh dari upah minimum regional yang berlaku di masing masing provinsi.

Pada tahun lalu, AJI mengatakan bahwa upah layak seorang jurnalis di Jakarta adalah Rp. 6.5 juta. Hal itu didasarkan pada survei yang dilakukan AJI Jakarta pada Oktober-November 2014 terhadap kebutuhan hidup layak jurnalis di Jakarta dengan pengalaman kerja setahun atau setelah diangkat menjadi pekerja tetap. AJI mengatakan bahwa kerja jurnalis berbeda dengan pekerja di sektor lain karena pekerjaan jurnalis membutuhkan keahlian khusus. Jurnalis bertanggung jawab untuk menyuarakan kepentingan publik. Rendahnya kesejahteraan ini justru akan membuat mereka “lemah” dalam melawan godaan suap dalam bentuk apapun dari narasumber.

Tuntutan lainnya yang disuarkan oleh Forum Pekerja Media adalah agar para pemilik media memperhatikan jaminan sosial para pekerjanya. Adanya potensi besaran iuran BPJS Ketenagakerjaan akan membuat pemilik media mengurangi fasilitas yang diberikan selama ini. Khusus untuk pekerja media perempuan, masih terjadi pembedaan pemberian tunjangan pemeliharaan kesehatan untuk keluarga pekerja media perempuan dibandingkan pekerja media laki laki. Masih banyak perusahaan yang tidak memberikan cuti haid atau ruang laktasi bagi pekerja perempuan yang masih menyusui anaknya.


Bagaimanapun juga, pers adalah salah satu pilar demokrasi. Kebebasan pers dalam berserikat adalah bagian dari demokrasi. Pas de liberté sans liberté de la presse (tidak ada kebebasan tanpa kebebasan pers). Kesejahteraan pekerja media tentunya akan berdampak besar bagi kebebasan pers.


                                                           Saya di tengah tengah aksi May Day 😀


(Foto-Foto adalah koleksi pribadi penulis. Diambil pada tanggal 1 Mei 2015)