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The Case of Joesoef Ishak

To the Editors:

I should like to call the attention of readers to the case of Joesoef Ishak, an Indonesian publisher who was arrested last October and is reportedly being held incommunicado at a Military Command Center in Jakarta. The immediate occasion for his arrest appears to have been a lecture delivered at the University of Indonesia by the well-known novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer, whose works (since banned) Joesoef had published. Joesoef was formerly a journalist in Indonesia and acting General Secretary of the Asian-African Journalists Association. He was arrested by the regime in 1968 and held without trial for seven years. He is reported to have suffered severely during his earlier detention and to have a serious heart condition. Even efforts by his family to determine his state of health have been unsuccessful.

Joesoef was identified as a “Prisoner of Conscience” in a London Times article of November 17 and has been the subject of several appeals by Amnesty International, but without result. Appeals for his release should be addressed to President Suharto, Istana Negara, Jalan Veteran, Jakarta; General Norman Sasono, Commander, KODAM V/Jaya (Jakarta Military Command), Jalan Perwira, Jakarta; and the Indonesian Embassy.

Noam Chomsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

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