Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Sunarko, right, at a ceremony to mark Kopassus' 56th anniversary in 2008. (Antara Photo/Prasetyo Utomo)

Former Army General Reported for Treason After Planning Mass Action on May 22


MAY 20, 2019

Jakarta. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Sunarko, the former commander of the Army's Special Forces, or Kopassus, was reported for treason and crime against public order to the National Police’s criminal investigation unit on Monday. The man who filed the report was one Humisar Sahala.

Sunarko was reported after a video was found showing him planning a mass action on May 22, when the General Elections Commission (KPU) was scheduled to announce the official result of the 2019 presidential election.

The KPU ended up announcing the result earlier than expected, declaring a win for Joko "Jokowi" Widodo early on Tuesday morning. 

The video circulated widely on social media and WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging app.


In the video, Sunarko said, "When the election result is announced on May 22, and if Jokowi wins, we will set up a barricade outside the General Elections Commission [offices]. Block off access."

"Then, some people might also blockade the Presidential Palace [in Central Jakarta] and the House of Representatives building in Senayan [South Jakarta]. No one will go to Monas [the National Monument]. But it has to be a large number of people. If we have a large crowd, the police will be overwhelmed [and hold back]. I'm sure the military won't take tough measures [against us]. I'm sure of it," he said.

Humisar, who is a lawyer, said Sunarko’s remarks were provocative and could potentially stir up conflict.

"He should be charged with treason and threatening national security. I made the report because as a citizen, I am worried and feel uncomfortable with these calls and incitements," Humisar said at the National Police headquarters in South Jakarta on Monday.

"The most worrying statement is when he ordered people to surround the KPU building and the [Presidential] Palace, and also when he said that the police would react violently, but the army wouldn’t," he said.

Humisar said he watched the video on YouTube on Friday and saved it on a flash drive as evidence in the report. He also included news printouts from the internet.

"He was provoking [by saying] that high-ranking soldiers have been bought, while low-ranking ones still defend the people. In my opinion, that is a statement that can incite conflict and create unease among citizens," he said.

He hopes the police will make further investigations and find out who masterminded the plan.

The National Police and the Indonesian Military have readied a combined force of 34,000 personnel to secure election offices and other vital objects in Jakarta in anticipation of large protests against the election result on Wednesday. The police have also detained several Prabowo's supporters for allegedly planning treason.