on the MAY 13-15, 1998 RIOT



Based on the joint decision of the Secretary of Defense / Chief of the
Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia, the Secretary of Justice,
the Secretary of Internal Affairs, the Secretary of States, the
Secretary of Women's Roles, and the Attorney General, the Joint Fact
Finding Team (TGPF) has been formed on July 23, 1998. This joint team
worked in finding and presenting facts, instigators and the background
of the events on May 13-15, 1998. TGPF consists of the elements of the
government, Komnas HAM (National Human Rights Commission), LSM (NGOs),
and other mass organizations.
Since its founding within three months TGPF has carried out its duties
that terminated on October 23, 1998. This Executive Summary is a
summary of the Final Report, while the Final Report consists of this
Executive Summary with all the attachments consisting of:
Series 2: Riots Data,
Series 3: Photographs and Progress Report,
Series 4: Victims Facts,
Series 5: Testimonies, and
Series 6: Verifications.
In the Final Report, the materials are presented and analyzed
according to the location of events (Jakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Medan,
Palembang, Lampung), except for the report regarding sexual violence,
which is presented by itself. This Final Report is a factual document
as (the delivery of) the responsibility of TGPF.

TGPF believes that the events on May 13-15, 1998 is indistinguishable
from the context of the socio-political situation and dynamism of the
Indonesian people during that time period, and its consequences. The
preceeding events, such as the General Elections of 1997, the
kidnapping of several activists, the economic crisis, the General
Meeting of MPR-RI 1998, the continuous students demonstrations, and
the murder of the Trisakti University students by shooting, are all
strongly related to the events on May 13-15, 1998. These events are
the sequence of the violence leading into the epitome of the thorough
riot acts on May 13-15, 1998. TGPF believes that one of the main
effects of this riot is the change of national leadership on May 21,
1998. The other following effect is violence in form of intimidation
and sexual violence, including rapes related to the unrests of May
13-15, 1998.
In all locations studied by TGPF, there were a common timing of the
breakup of the riots. The closeness, and moreover the similarity of
the pattern of events indicate the socio-political-economic condition
and situation that potentially allowed the breakup of a riot. This
objective condition in turn did partially naturally broke up, and the
other part was incited to break up. The pattern of riots varied, from
spontaneous, local, sporadic, to planned and organized. The
perpetrators were also varied, from initially passive mass
participation that turned into active rioters, provocators, including
(the finding of) security forces.

TGPF defined the riots to be the thorough form and sequence of acts of
violence that is widespread, complex, sudden, and escalative with
quantitative and qualitative dimensions. The scale of the riots on May
13-15 1998 included social, political, security, economic and even
cultural aspects. Seen from the time frame, the riots brought followup
effects. Therefore, the scale of the riots must be referred to the
national dynamic crisis, up to the effects following the riots, within
a national-scale geographical context. The six studied cities are the
example of the national scale of the riots that happened. Concisely,
the riots of May 13-15 1998 must be placed within the preceeding and
following time frames, thorough and multi-aspect dimensions, and
national scope. From the activity standpoint, the classification of
the riots set by TGPF include the sequence of destruction, looting,
arson, sexual violence, battery, murder, kidnapping, and intimidation
that leads into terror.

TGPF's investigations began with the gathering of information, facts
and field data, in order to find again the traces of the sequence of
events and the connection between the subjects in the events including
the time and location of the events. With this procedure it was hoped
to be able to recover and reconstruct the chronology of the events in
every location. This stage was followed by a macro reconstruction (in
lieu of making a decision) through a sequence of interviews and
consultative meetings with the involved officials during the riots,
the NGOs, and professional organizations. The next stage was the
mapping of the connections, when found, between the two stages of the


II.1.1. TGPF Organization was planned to be functional and each part
of it, including each member, is not a subordinate to other part or
member. The structure and composition of TGPF is as follows:
1. Head/Member : Marzuki Darusman SH (Komnas HAM - National Human
Rights Commission)
2. 1st Vice-head/Member : Maj.Gen Pol Drs Marwan Paris MBA (Mabes ABRI
- Indonesian Army Headquarters)
3. 2nd Vice-head/Member : K.H. Dr Said Aqiel Siradj (NU)
4. Secretary/Member : Dr Rosita Sofyan Noer MA (Bakom-PKB)
5. 1st Assistant to Secretary/Member : Zulkarnain Yunus SH (Depkeh -
Department of Justice)
6. 2nd Assistant to Secretary/Member : Asmara Nababan SH (National
Human Rights Commission)
7. Member : Sri Hardjo SE (Kantor Menperta - Office of Secretary of
Women Affairs)
8. Member : Drs Bambang W. Soeharto (National Human Rights Commission)
9. Member : Prof Dr Saparinah Sadli (National Human Rights Commission)
10. Member : Maj.Gen TNI Syamsu D Sh (Indonesian Army Headquarters)
11. Member : Maj.Gen Pol Drs Da'i Bachtiar (Indonesian Army
12. Member : Abdul Ghani SE (Deplu - Department of Foreign Affairs)
13. Member : I Made Gelgel SH (Kejakgung - Office of Attorney General)
14. Member : Dunidja D (Depdagri - Department of Internal Affairs)
15. Member : Father I. Sandyawan Sumardi SJ (Tim Relawan - The
Volunteer Team)
16. Member : Nursyahbani Katjasungkana SH (LBH-APIK)
17. Member : Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara SH, LLM (Elsam)
18. Member : Bambang Widjojanto SH (YLBHI)
19. Member : Ita F. Nadya (The Volunteer Team, quit since the
beginning of work period)
II.1.2. In order to investigate the cases, TGPF formed 3 subteams as
1. Verification Subteam : Sri Hardjo SE (Head)
2. Testimony Subteam : Dr Bambang W Suharto (Head)
3. Victim Facts Subteam : Prof Dr Saparinah Sadli (Head)

To make the duties easier, TGPF opened 3 secretariats in locations as
2.1 Department of Justice
Jalan Rasuna Said Kav 4-5, Kuningan. This secretariat is under
coordination of Sulkarnain Yunus SH , assisted by Muljanto SH,
K. Suparlan SH, Demak Lubis and Bambang Pamungkas.
2.2 Jalan Hang Tuah Raya No.3
Kebayoran baru, Jakarta Selatan. This secretariat is under
coordination of Dr Rosita Sofyan Noer MA , assisted by Dra Hetty S,
Indra Kusuma SH, and Sri Rahajeng SH.
2.3 Komnas HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
Jalan Latuharhary 4 B, Jakarta Pusat. This secretariat is under
coordination of Asmara Nababan SH.

In doing daily duties, TGPF was assisted by an Assistance Team as
1. Head/Member : Hermawan Sulistyo Ph.D
2. Vice-head/Member : Lt.Col Pol Drs Rusbagio Ishak
3. Member : Drs M. Riefqy Muna M. Def.Stud
4. Member : Drs Mohammad Rum
5. Member : Dra Hargyaning Tyas
6. Member : 1st Lt. Pol Andi Nurlia
7. Member : 1st Lt. Pol Pandra Arsyad SH
8. Member : Robertus Robert S.Sos
9. Member : Juliadi Karmandito S.Sos
10. Member : Moch. Nurhasim S.Ip
11. Member : Ir Sri Palupi
12. Member : Dra Ruth Indiah Rahayu

In order to give the opportunity as wide as possible for the community
to submit information, TGPF commissioned one mailbox and five
hotlines. TGPF also reported the result to the public through mass
media. TGPF also cooperated with some governmental and/or other
TGPF's work process was executed step by step as follows :
1. Collection and processing of data from various sources.
2. Verification of the data collected from various sources.
3. Interview of some high-ranking officials and former officials,
either civilians or members of the army.
4. Consultative meeting with professional institutions and experts
acts as witnesses.
5. Field investigations in some locations.
6. Reconstruction of the plot of the incident and analysis.
7. Make conclusion based on the findings and uncover the actual
8. Give recommendations for policies and institutional acts.


1.1 The Volunteer Team: Data of riot victims and its analysis
(casualties, injuries, lootings, sexual assaults) in Jakarta,
Palembang, Solo and Surabaya. The pattern of the riots that took
place in Jakarta and surrounding areas, the status of looters in the
riots, reports, documentation, information, video, etc.
1.2 Bakom PKB: Data of sexual assaults, photos, video, transcript of
hot-line in form of information and reports.
1.3 National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM): Data and
analysis of riots in Jakarta and the surrounding areas.
1.4 Indonesian Organization for Law Assistance (YLBHI): Data of
kidnappings at the time of riot.
1.5 The Police: Data of riot victims in form of casualties and
material loss.

2.1. Mailbox received 146 mails about information, reports, opinion,
2.2. Hotlines
2.2.1. Department of Justice (Jl. Rasuna Said): 32 contacts in form of
reports and information, with various contents
2.2.2. Secretariate of the Volunteer Team (Jl. Arus Dalam I): 41
contacts in form of information, reports, threats and questions
regarding the existence and the result of TGPF.
2.2.3. The Police Headquarters: 12 contacts in form of reports and
2.2.4. Jl. Hang Tuah Raya No.3: 33 contacts in form of reports and
2.2.5. YLBHI: 5 contacts in form of reports and information

3.1 Verification Subteam:
1.1. Performed verfication on victim's data processed by Assistance
Team. The Verification Subteam has asked for testimonies and accounts
from witnesses, experts, victims, victims' families, and victims'
counsellors in total count of 24 people in Jakarta and more than 100
people in the field have been asked for their accounts either by TGPF
or by Assistance Team.
1.2. Performed interviews to gather testimonies from governmental
officers, community leaders in Solo, Surabaya, Lampung, Palembang and
Medan. They were: Governor of KDH Tk. I, Chief of Military District
(Panglima Daerah Militer), Chief of Police (Kepala Daerah Kepolisian),
Commander of Military Resort/Area (Komandan Korem), Chief of District
Police (Kepala Kepolisian Wilayah), Commander of Military District
(Komandan Kodim), chief of Resort/Area Police (Kepala Kepolisian
Tabes/Resort), City Office (Walikotamadya), Camat, Legal Aid Office
(LBH), Bakom PKB, leaders of political and mass organizations
(Pimpinan Parpol/Ormas).
3.2 Testimony Subteam:
Until the end of TGPF works, Testimony Subteam has collected accounts
from ten related governmental officials (some of whom with their
staff) who were in charge at the time of the riot on May 13-15, 1998
in Jakarta.
They were:
* Maj.Gen TNI Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin (Chief of Jakarta Military District
at the time of the riot).
* Maj.Gen Pol Hamami Nata (Chief of Jakarta Police at the time of the
* Maj.Gen TNI Sutiyoso (Mayor of Jakarta)
* Maj.Gen TNl Zacky Anwar Makarim (Head of Army Intelligence Agency)
* Maj.Gen TNI (Mar) Soeharto (Dankormar)
* Lt.Gen TNI Prabowo Subianto (Chief of Army Strategic Commando at the
time of the riot)
* Fahmi Idris (Community leader)
* Brig.Gen TNI Sudi Silalahi (Kastaf Kodam Jaya)
* Colonel Inf Tri Tamtomo (Asops Kodam Jaya)
* General TNI Subagyo H.S. (KASAD/Mantan Ketua DKP)

3.3 Victims Facts Subteam:
Victims Facts Subteam not only presented the data about physical loss
of the riot but emphasized especially on human victims. The
perspective of Victims Facts Subteam is the human suffering aspect as
a result of the riotwith no intention to ignore nor to omit other
physical loss aspect. The Victim Facts Subteam also gave special
attention and treatment on reports about sexual violence including
rapes during the riot. In verification process, the subteam has
interviewed 25 victims, 20 experts, 36 eye witnesses / victims'
families, and 10 clergymen / counsellors. Moreover, the subteam has
also asked security personnels for information about victims. TGPF
used a procedure called the Minnesota Protocol which had been adjusted
to the condition of riot victims. This procedure was called the
Jakarta Protocol by the Indonesian Association of Medical Doctors
(IDI) that uses this protocol.


The riots have a general pattern, starting with the gathering of a
passive crowd, consisted of local and non-local (unrecognized) people,
then a group of provocators came who incited the masses by a series of
acts such as burning tires or creating a clash, shouting yells that
aroused up the situation, damaging the street signs, etc. After that,
those provocators encouraged the masses to start doing damaging acts
to various properties and buildings, followed by lootings (of goods),
and in some areas ended by setting the buildings or other properties
on fire. In some areas some varieties are also found where the
provocator group directly did the damaging first, and then invited the
masses to do the further damaging.
The rioters of the May 13-15 1998 Riot consist of two groups:
First, the passive masses (visiting masses) that after being
provocated turned into active masses.
Second, the provocators, mostly were not local people, appeared to be
physically trained, some of whom wore partial school uniforms (not the
complete uniform), did not participate in looting, and immediately
left the location soon after buildings or properties were burned. The
provocators were those who brought and prepared the means for damaging
and burning purposes, such as crowbars, flammable liquid, vehicles,
molotov coctails, etc.
From the sequence of the riot, TGPF found out that the earliest riot
trigger point was situated in West Jakarta, more precisely in area
around Trisakti University on May 13, 1998. While on May 14, 1998, the
riot spread in the same starting time, between 08.00 and 10.00 West
Indonesian Time. Therefore in the Jakarta case, there were actions
happening simultaneously if seen from the time frame alone. TGPF found
out that the triggering factor for Jakarta case was the shooting of
Trisakti students in the evening on May 12, 1998.
In lower degree, the shooting of Trisakti students also became the
triggering factor of the riots in five other locations chosen by TGPF,
excluding the Medan Riot which had occured before. The riot targets
were shops, public facilities (gas stations, street signs, etc),
governmental offices (including police stations), The ones that caused
heavy damage include the arson of buildings, houses and shops, public
and private vehicles. The main target was the ethnic Chinese.
The riot actors could be classified into three groups as follows:
2.1. Provocator Group
This was the group which incited/moved the masses by creating unrest,
assigning certain marks on the targets, committing the early damaging,
arson, encouraging looting. This group came from outside the local
community in small groups (approximately 10-20 persons), trained
(having skill in using tools of violence), moved in high mobility,
using transportation means (motorcycle, cars / jeep) and communication
means (handytalkies / cellular phones). This group also prepared the
means for damaging such as stones, molotov coctails, flammable liquid,
crowbars, etc.
Generally, this group was hard to identify, although in several cases
it was committed by a group from a young people organization ( for
example in Medan there was found to be direct involvement of (a youth
organization Pemuda Pancasila).
There were facts found about the involvement of members of security
personnels such as in Jakarta, Medan, and Solo were also found.
2.2. Active Masses
The masses in an amount of tens to hundreds, which were (previously)
the passive visiting masses, and have become aggresive after being
provocated. They did further damaging including arson. The masses also
looted shops and houses. Their movement was organized
2.3 Passive Masses
At first, the passive local masses gathered to watch and were curious
to see what would happen. Some of them were carried away and involved
in damaging and looting after the riot was started, but also many of
them who were only watching until the end of the riot. Some of them
became victims of the arsons.

3.1 Category
About the victims, so far there was a tendency from the government,
community, including mass media to focus the attention only to sexual
assaulted victims. Facts show that those considered to be victims in
the May 1998 Riot are those who have suffered physically and
psychologically from : physical / material loss (their houses or work
places were damaged or burned and their belongings were looted), death
at the time of the riot (burned, shot, assaulted, etc), loss of job,
assault, kidnapping, and was the targets of sexual assault acts. The
May 1998 Riot victims were classified into several categories as
1.1 Material Loss:
are damages in buildings, such as shops, supermarkets, or houses,
including properties in form of cars, motorcycles, merchandise, and
other properties that were looted or burned by the masses. The team
found that people who suffered from material loss were inter (from
across different) social classes, not only happened to the ethnic
Chinese but also to other citizens. However those who suffered the
most from material loss were ethnic Chinese.
1.2 Loss of Job:
are the people who because of the riot, because their place of work
was damaged, looted and burned, have cost them their employment or
source of earnings. Those who suffered the loss of job were the common
1.3 Death or Injuries
are the people who died or injured at the time of the riot. They were
the victims who were trapped in burning buildings, assaulted, shot,
and victims of other forms of violence.
1.4 Kidnapping Victims:
are those who were missing / kidnapped at the time of riot that have
benn reported to Indonesian Organization for Law Assistance (YLBHI ) /
Missing People and Violence Acts Victims Commission (Kontras) and
until now have not yet been found. They are:
1.4.1 Yadin Muhidin (23 years old) missing in Senen area.
1.4.2 Abdun Nasir (33 years old) missing in Lippo Karawaci area;
1.4.3 Hendra Hambali (19 years old), missing in Glodok Plaza area;
1.4.4 Ucok Siahaan (22 years old), missing, last location unknown;
3.2 Victim and Loss Count
It is difficult to find the exact figure of the total victims and
loss. For the Jakarta area, TGPF found varied number of casualties and
injuries as follows:
(1) Data from the Volunteer Team (Tim Relawan) : 1190 people died of
arson, 27 people died of weapons / other causes, 91 people injured.
(2) Data from the Police : 451 people died, injured victims were not
(3) Data from Military Commando : 463 people died including security
personnels, 69 people injured.
(4) Data from Jakarta Government (Pemda DKI) : 288 people died, 101
people injured.
For towns and cities outside Jakarta, the variation of the figures is as
(1) Data from the Police : 30 people died, 131 people injured, 27
people suffered from burned injuries.
(2) Data from the Volunteer Team : 33 people died, 74 people injured.
The opinion that has been formed so far is that those who died were
victims of their own fault. However, (the facts show that) many of
them died not of their own fault. The difference in casulaties count
between the Volunteer Team and the Government occurs because in truth
many victims had actually been evacuated by the people, before the
official evacuation (efforts) by the government. These victims were
not recorded in the government official report.

4.1 Victim Category
In reference to United Nation Declaration on the Elimination of
Violence against Women, sexual violence is defined as every act based
on gender which caused misery or suffering to women physically,
sexually or psychologically, including threat to do certain act,
forcing to do something, or taking away the freedom high-handedly.
Meanwhile in reference to Indonesian positive law, all sexual violence
acts cannot be explained sufficiently and fairly. The forms of sexual
violence found in the May 1998 Riot can be devided into a few
categories, those are: rape, rape with torture/assault, sexual assault
and sexual harassment.
4.2 Victim Count
From the verification result and cross check on the data found, it
becomes clear that it's not easy to collect accurate data to count the
total of sexual violence victims, including the raped victims. TGPF
found sexual violence acts in Jakarta and areas around it, Medan and
The details on reported sexual violence victims are :
1. Directly interviewed : 3 victims
2. Examined medically by doctors : 9 victims
3. Reported by victims' parents : 3 victims
4. Reported by expert who acts as witnesses (nurses, psychiatrists,
psychologists) : 10 victims
5. Reported through testimonies of clergymen / counsellors : 27 victims
4.2.2. Raped and Tortured Victims: 14 victims :
1. From doctor's account : 3 victims
2. From witness' account (their families) : 10 victims
3. From counsellor's account : 1 victim
4.2.3. Sexual Attacked / Assaulted Victims : 10 victims
1. From victim's account : 3 victim
2. From clergyman's account : 3 victims
3. From witness' account (their families): 3 victims
4. From doctor's account: 1 victim
4.2.4. Sexual Harassed Victims : 9 victims:
1. From victim's account : 1 victim
2. From witness' account : 8 victims (from Jakarta and Surabaya)
Besides the sexual violence victims during the May Riot, TGPF also
found sexual violence victims who experienced such sexual violent acts
before and after the May Riot. These sexual violence cases have strong
connection to the sexual violence cases that happened during the
riot. During the investigations in Medan TGPF found reports from
hundreds of sexual harassment victims, harassed on May 4-8, 1998 and
among them, five victims have reported their cases. After the May
Riot, two rape cases in Jakarta on July 2, 1998 and two more in Solo
on July 8, 1998.
The sexual violence in the May 1998 Riot took place inside (the
victims') houses, on the streets and in workplaces. The moajority of
the sexual violence took place in houses / buildings. TGPF also found
that most of the cases were gang rapes, in which the victim was raped
in turn by a number of people at the same time and place of the
incident. Most of the rapes also took place in front of other people.
Although not all of the sexual violence victims were ethnic Chinese,
most of the sexual violence victims were indeed ethnic Chinese
females. These sexual violence victims are also from across
(different) social classes.

From the witnesses and victims verification results, testimonies from
military officers and former related governmental officials, TGPF
found that the coordination between security units was not sufficient,
there was a sluggishness in anticipation, that some security
personnels in several places let the riot happen and did nothing, in
some area there were clashes between troops and there was disorder in
the execution of the command from each operational unit. In some
places TGPF found evidence of commercialization of security services.
TGPF also found a perception gap between the community and security
personnels. The community is of the opinion that in some location
there had been a vaccuum of security personnels, or even though they
were present, they did nothing to stem nor contain riot. On the
contrary, the high-ranked security officers are of opinion that there
was no vaccuum of security forces, although they realized that the
facts showed that in certain locations the riots still did occured
(outside the security priority). This was caused by the lack of


The May 13-15 1998 Riot is inseparable from the Indonesian people's
context of socio-political dynamism at that time, marked with the
General Election in 1997, economic crisis, General Assembly's Meeting
(Sidang Umum MPR RI) in 1998, simultaneous student demonstrations, the
kidnapping of activists and the shoot of Trisakti students. In the
riot it can be seen that the series of patterned violence which
happened accumulatively in a row and spred widely was the meeting
point of two main processes, those are the process of the elite
politics intensive fight which centered on the continuity of New
Order's regime under the leadership of President Suharto who has lost
the people's trust, and the process of fast economic degradation.
In politics there were symptoms that indicate a struggle between the
interelite factions which involved the powers in the government and
also in the community that focused at the change of the national
leadership issue. This can be seen from the dynamic political factors
, like the meeting in Makostrad on May 14, 1998 between a few military
leaders and some community leaders, which suggests an integral part of
an elite politics fight. In addition to this, the dynamic fight also
appeared on the responsibility of Lt. Gen. Prabowo Subianto in some
cases of the kidnapping of activists.
This analysis was amplified by the fact that there was a change of the
national leadership one week after the riot, which had been preceded
by efforts to put TAP MPR No. V/MPR/1998 into practice.
In economy, the monetary crisis has caused the social economic gap to
grow bigger and strengthened the perception about injustice which was
getting worse and created a wide social dislocation which was very
fragile against vertical conflicts (between social classes) and
horizontal conflicts (between social groups).
In social life, because of the political and economic crisis, there
were clear symptoms of excessive mass violence, which had tendency to
be used as a solution for any problem, for example in form of looting
within the community itself. Also the latent racial sentiment among
the community has widened into racism especially in big cities. Also,
the religious identity has been used of necessity by some of the
community as a means to protect themselves. This act might create a
feeling that there is a discriminative treatment against other
religion groups. It's easy to understand that the backgrounds of the
violence have made the shoot of Trisakti students a trigger for the
national-scale riot.

In micro view (the masses), it can be analyzed that from the area unit
(six cities that TGPF has chosen) there are some sameness,
similarities or even varieties of riot patterns.
First, in Jakarta the general riot pattern was seen in four steps:
a.) preparation/pre-destruction stage, consists of activities to raise
reaction by means of burning certain materials (tire, wood, garbage
bin, trash) or by creating fight between groups or students or also by
shouting certain yell to raise the emotion or the hate of the masses,
like: "students are coward", "police are dogs",
b.) destruction stage, consists of activities like: throwing stones,
bottles, breaking the door open, breaking the window glass, breaking
into public facilities with tools they have prepared before,
c.) looting stage consists of all activities of taking away goods and
other things out of the broken in building,
d.) arson stage which was the culmination of the riot which caused
many casualties and biggest damages.
Second, in Solo TGPF found the fact that besides giving a clear clue
about the involvement of the local criminals including local young
people organization, also of groups of people who wore military
uniform and red beret like those worn by Special Troops unit
(Kopassus) in creating condition for riot. The cases in Solo indicated
the connection between the mass violence in the low level with the
elite fight in the high level. The use of situation in cases in Solo
through the role of local provocators is made easy with the fact that
student movements in Solo before the riot have caused some incidents
and physical injuries, even before the students in other cities
Third, Surabaya and Lampung are classified in one category because of
some similarities. In these two cities, the riot passed relatively
quickly and was overcame; it's also relatively small-scaled with not
so many victims and so great loss. Even though in this case there were
also "free riders" and local provocators, both of them showed more the
characteristics of local, sporadic, limited, and spontaneous.
Fourth, the Palembang case was less spontaneous compared to Surabaya
and Lampung. The "free riders" or the local provocators were more
dominant and it looked like a planned and organized riot in a larger
Fifth, as for Medan case, the local provocators with the town's
criminal characteristics were more dominant. It should be noted that
the riot in Medan happened one week before the May 13-15 1998 Riot in
five other cities, but Medan was the starting point of the series of
national riots.
From the above analysis, TGPF found that the riots in Jakarta, Solo,
Medan share similarities in pattern. The riot in Palembang generally
has similarity with those in Jakarta, Solo, Medan but has specific
characteristics where the provocators and the "free riders" were
difficult to distinguish. The riots in Lampung and Surabaya basically
showed the signs of local, sporadic, limited and spontaneous act.

I.1. The large casualties during the riot were caused by the gathering
of the great masses in pattern around shopping centers, who were
initially forced to enter those buildings which were later burned. The
large casualties were also caused by the weakness of rescue
operations, either from the community or institutions/officers. Arson
and riot scale are the main factors of the many physical damages.
I.2. From degree of intensity of violence against some of the targeted
victims, the dimension of latent anti Chinese sentiment was a dominant
factor that was easily exploited to create riot. Other factor that has
caused the attack toward ethnic Chinese group was the early attack,
which was targeted to ethnic Chinese shops, and houses that were
concentrated in some certain areas.
I.3. Sexual violence did occur during the riots and was a form of
violation against human dignity, which has caused deep suffering, fear
and long trauma. Sexual violence took place because of some
intentions, chances, and forming of masses' psychological state which
suggested as if such acts were permissible. These factors intensified
(multiplied the number of) these sexual assaults
I.4. Social Economic.
The social economic pressure and gap which were made worse by the
scarcity of basic goods have made the community very fragile against
exploitation and that resulted in destructive impetus to do violence
acts (breaking, burning, looting, etc). A big part of those who
involved taking part in the riot were basically victims of situation
and unjust structure. They were common people.
I.5. There's a conundrum among the community about the existence and
the figure of rape victims which came from the method based on
positive law which demands the existence of report from the victims,
signs or marks of sexual intercourse and/or violence, and also the
presence of witnesses and clues. On the other side, the traumatic
condition, deep fear, and shame that are experienced by the victims
and their families, have made them unable to uncover all that they
have experienced.
After verificating 85 sexual assaulted victims, especially the 52
raped victims, there were two victim groups based on the positive and
empirical view:
1.5.1. Based on facts which were told directly by the victims and the
Indonesian Association of Medical Doctors (IDI) based on medical
practice oath and Jakarta Protocol , there are 15 victims.
1.5.2. Based on facts from the victim's family, eye witnesses,
psychiatrists / psychologists, and clergymen / counsellors, there are
37 victims.

The lack of coordination between security units, the lateness of
anticipation, the attitude of some security personnels who let the
riot happen and the chaos of command execution by each of the
operational units, also the difference in perception about the absence
of security personnels were possible because of:
2.1. Command and control weakness, which caused the disuniformity,
unclearness/chaotic commands received by the troops/security units in
the field.
2.2. The incorrect choice of priority in placement of troops around
the economic and trade centers that was insufficient to overcome the
heating situation has cost many victims. It might be related to the
lack of troops in Jakarta and also because they had to face the
escalation of riots that they couldn't anticipate.
2.3. Communication between troops were not smooth, probably caused by
the use of various communication devices with different
specifications, made worse by the large number of high buildings.
2.4. According to the Army Doctrine, the community is not the
enemy. Therefore according to the law, security personnels are not
allowed to shoot the crowd. Psychologically the troops were facing
dilemma to take effective movement because of the large amount of
community and the presence of other troops around the locations.
2.5. The difference of act patterns and physical conflict between
troops indicated the lack of coordination and assurance in their duty
to face the pressure of large masses.
The lack / limited amount of operational units has placed the Police
and Military Commands against covering the wide area of responsibility
and the large number of strategic locations (tourist locations). The
Police Chief and/or Chief of Jakarta Military District should have
used the priority scale in allocating or deploying the security troops
/ units, forcing an absence of troops in some areas.


1. The main cause of the May 13-14 1998 Riot was the double conflicts
between two main processes : the process of elite politics conflict
related to the matter of the continuation of national leadership and
the process of the fast economic-monetary degradation. In the process
of the elite politics conflict, there are some people who attended the
meeting in the Headquarters of Strategic Commando Army on May 14,
1998, that are believed to be able to uncover the role of the actors
and the conflict pattern that led to the happening of the riot.
2. The May 14 1998 Riot was the culmination of a series of violence
acts happened in many incidents before, for example: kidnapping which
had actually happened long before the riot in form of intelligence
actions that could not be monitored effectively, and the Trisakti
incident. It can be concluded that the shoot of Trisakti students has
created a martyr factor that had later become a riot's triggering
3. According to the field data, there were three riot patterns:
First, the riot was local, sporadic, limited and spontaneous, took
place in a relative short period and in a relative small scale of
destruction and victims. Riots with pattern like this were happened
because of the social-economic-political situation that objectively
could not be avoided.
Second, the riot was interconnected between locations with similar
operational modes. The provocators in this type of riot were more
dominant than in the first riot type. They were not local
people. There was similarity or even uniformity in time and steps in
creating riot. This type of riot happened in large scale and a few
locations. It also indicated that the riots happened in turn
systematically but the indication that this type of riot was planned
and happened more widely has not yet been found. There's a missing
link for the proofing that this riot happened because of objective
conditions. This type of riot happened in large scale and was found in
all areas.
Third, there's an indication that the riot was deliberately
created. This deliberate factor is larger than the objective condition
that had been already created. This type of riot is usually similar to
the second type but the factor of using the situation is far
clearer. In this third type, it's assumed that the riot was created as
a part of political fight in the elite circle. Like the second riot
type, there're some missing links which are evidence or information
which refer clearly to the relation between the elite's fight and the
involvement of the masses.
4. According to findings from the field investigation, there were many
people that played role at all levels, either as active crowd or as
provocators to take advantage from the riot for themselves or for
their groups. This conclusion is to emphasize that there was an
involvement of many parties, from local criminals, political and mass
organizations, to some members of the Indonesian Army, which were out
of control at the time of the riot. They took advantage not only from
their deliberate effort in using the riot but also by doing
nothing. In this context, the Indonesian Army has not done enough to
stop the riot, although they have the responsibility to do so. On the
other side, the community has not yet been able to take part in
stopping the riot.
5. The exact figure of casualties cannot be nationally determined
because of the weakness in monitoring system and data collecting
procedure. The largest casualties were common people. They mostly died
burned. They should not be blamed simply by accusing them
looters. Also the material loss cannot be exactly calculated, it can
only be assumed.
6. Based on the found facts and information from the expert-witnesses,
it can be concluded that there were sexual assaults, including rapes,
happened during the riots on May 13-14, 1998. From some cases that can
be verified, it can be concluded that the rape was done to some
females by a group of people in various places in the same or nearly
same time. It could happen spontaneously because of the supporting
situation or engineered by a certain group for certain purposes. The
victims are the citizens of Indonesia with various backgrounds but
most of them are ethnic Chinese.
7. It cannot be concluded whether the sexual assaults happened in the
riots were planned or merely an excess of the riots. There's no proof
that there was religion aspect involved in the sexual assault
cases. Also concluded that the positive law instruments do not act
appropriately and therefore are not responsive to enable all rape
cases, which have been found or reported, to be processed immediately
according to the law.
8. The riot widespred because of the lack of actions to prevent, limit
and overcome the series of struggles for power that should be able to
be anticipated and then increasing developed. It can be concluded that
there were fragility and weakness in the security operations in
Jakarta, especially in context of the riot, it related to the
responsibility of the Jakarta Chief of Commando Operation (Pangkoops)
who didn't do his duty as he should. The symptoms of this security
fragility and weakness in various grades in other cities and towns
where riot also happened relate to the national elite politics fight.
9. It should be emphasized that the causal co-relation of the violence
incidents culminated in the May 13-14 1998 Riot, can be perceived as
an effort to create an emergency situation which needs an action to
form an extra constitutional power in order to control the situation
which preparations to that goal have been started at the highest
decision maker's level.


From the conclusions above, TGPF recommends the following policies and
institutional acts:
1. The government needs to carry out further investigations of the
main causes and the main actors of the May 13-14 1998 Riot, and later
write and publish a white book about the role and responsibility and
the relation between all parties that connected to the
riot. Therefore, the government needs to investigate the meeting, took
place in Makostrad (The Headquarters of the Strategic Army Command) on
May 14, 1998 in order to learn and uncover and also to make sure what
the role of Lt. Gen. Prabowo and other parties was in the whole
process that created the riots.
2. The government needs to take further actions as soon as possible
toward the cases which are suspected to be related to the series of
violence that culminated at the May 13-14 1998 Riot, so that these
cases can be uncovered jurisdically, that the involved civilians or
military personnels can be justly judged in order to uphold the
authority of law, including to advance the ongoing judicial
processes. In this matter, the former Chief of Operation Commando in
Jakarta, Maj. Gen. Syafrie Syamsoeddin is a subject to be questioned
regarding his responsibility. In the case of kidnapping,
Lt. Gen. Prabowo and all of the involved parties must be brought to
the military court of law. Also in the Trisakti case, various further
actions are needed to really uncover the shoot incident.
3. The government must immediately guarantee the safety of the
witnesses and the victims by passing the law mentioned
above. Meanwhile, before the law is made, the government should form a
permanent institution to carry on the victim and witness protection
4. The government must grant rehabilitation and compensation to all
riot victims and their families. The government must also assist them
in applying for their important documents that were destroyed during
the riots. The government also has to rebuild the burned buildings,
especially the economy and trade centers and also the social
5. The government needs to ratify the International Convention on
Anti-racial Discrimination as soon as possible and to actualize it in
form of positive law products, including the implementation of
anti-torture convention.
6. The government need to soon eliminate all practices of criminal
gangs which have been developed in all community areas, social degrees
and professions according to the applied law and also to make it
illegal for any organization to use military uniforms or uniforms
which resemble military uniforms because they have tendency to make it
a sensation that they are paramilitary organizations.
7. The government need to immediately make rules about national
intelligence to regulate the main responsibilities, functions and the
limit of their intelligence operation in the competent governmental /
national institution, so that the national security importance can be
preserved and in the other side, human rights can be respected. Not
less important is that the intelligence operational actions must be
able to be controlled effectively by controlling institutions, so that
the intelligence organizations doesn't change form into an instrument
of power for political importance of certain parties.
8. The government need to form a mechanism of further data collecting
that can carry on the process of modernizing the data about all
aspects related to the May 13-15 1998 Riot.


1. Every material and documentation including the Final Report of the
Joint Fact-Finding Team (TGPF) is handed in to the government,
represented by the Minister of Justice, at the end of TGPF's work
2. As the work of TGPF has come to the end, we stated that lawfully
all rights, obligations and responsibilities as TGPF's members are


The May 13-15, 1998 Riot is a sad national tragedy and a disgrace
against the dignity and the honor of humanity, nation and country in
general. The government and also the people must wholeheartedly take
any actions to prevent such riot to happen again. It's very urgent
that the attention and solidarity from all parts of the community are
expressed concretely to the victims and the their family, so that the
recovery of our rights as a civilized nation is also determined by how
far our nation can correct its weakness and failure, by how soon can
we eliminate the fear and bring about the peace and safety for each of
us with no exception.

1. Marzuki Darusman, S.H
2. Maj.Gen Pol Drs. Marwan Paris, MBA
3. K.H. Dr. Said Aqiel Siradj
4. Dr. Rosita Sofyan Noer, MA
5. Zulkarnain Yunus, SH
6. Asmara Nababan, SH
7. Marsma TNI Sri Hardjo, SE
8. Drs. Bambang W. Soeharto
9. Prof. Dr. Sapariah Sadli
10. Maj. Gen TNI Syamsu D, SH
11. Maj. Gen Pol Drs. Da'I Bachtiar
12. Maj. Gen TNI Abdul Ghani,SH
13. I Made Gelgel, SH
14. Maj. Gen TNI Dunidja D
15. Father I. Sandyawan Sumardi, SJ
16. Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, SH
17. Abdul Hakim Garuda, SH, LLM
18. Bambang Widjojanto, SH