Echoes Of Justice

Zulkifli Bin Tgk Ilyas

Disappeared On July 3, 2003

Victims of forced disappearances.

She used to live with her husband who faithfully accompanied her through thick and thin. Now he has to live his bitter and sweet life without his friends. Usually called “Kak AS” by people people around him. Her husband's name is Zulkifli Ilyas. This man was the backbone of the family and protected her and their six children, before he disappeared on July 3 2003.  Zulkifli once served as keuchik (village head). He is liked by the people. In between his busy schedule serving residents at that time, he still made time to gather with his wife and children who needed attention. AS did not witness her husband being taken away by the authorities.


I learned about this incident from Mr. Geuchik Leman. "My husband was taken at four in the afternoon and at five in the afternoon Mr. Geuchik told me," she said. She didn't understand why her husband was taken by the authorities. He tried to trace past events. As far as she could remember, her husband had never had a problem with anyone. After receiving information from the keuchik, AS immediately went to the nearest sector police office (Polsek) and the Bireuen resort police (Polres) to look for her husband. But they couldn't provide any explanation.


The US is not giving up hope. She continued looking for her husband. Approximately five days after she looked everywhere for her husband, a group of people from the Joint Intelligence Unit (SGI) came to her house. They asked for the weapons that her husband had. They accused her husband of being involved in the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). There are no guns in the US house. Because they did not find the weapon, the US considered SGI to be in cahoots with her husband. She was accused of deliberately hiding her husband's weapon. What's worse is that he is considered unwilling to help the state apparatus.


AS was thrown into Bireuen prison.

While in prison, he was never separated from his six children. They were imprisoned with him. The prison only provides food for two children. AS has to cover the food needs of him and his four children alone. His brother tried to help the US as best he could. He tried to be strong, remembering his children who still small. But sometimes he also couldn't hide his sadness. He also doesn't know how long he will spend behind bars. At that time the conflict was heating up. The war between GAM and the Indonesian National Army (TNI) has not shown any signs of ending.


“One day, I have forgotten when that very exciting day occurred, at which time Commander Iskandar Muda, Major General TNI "Endang Suwarya was on a visit to Bireuen prison to see the inmates. He felt sorry for the fate of me and my small children in prison," said AS. The commander asked the prison guards to free AS . This woman finally breathed the fresh air of the outside world again.


“My release from prison was without a release letter, because I was arrested without an arrest warrant. "I also imprisoned myself without going through a court process," he said. After that he trying a small business to support his children. He sells fried rice, fried noodles and coffee. The villagers welcomed his presence back. They know her husband well, know what he and his children are like. They are not affected by the accusations Which was launched by the authorities. The hardest thing to do AS experienced were his children's questions about their father.


“Why don't you go home? My heart felt torn. "I tried to answer calmly, 'father is looking for sustenance', because it was impossible for me to tell them that his father was missing and didn't know where he was," he said. However, slowly it tried to open and be honest with your children. "Asking them to pray for the safety of their father, if he is still alive, because he has been kidnapped for a long time, for more than six years," he said again.


The youngest child is the most difficult to understand.

“If you're already dead, it's very easy. I just had to go to his grave and show him. "If it's lost, how can we show it to a small child who is now only in the second grade of elementary school," said AS. All his children are still waiting for their father to return . When you heard that there was a return of political prisoners from prison in outside Aceh who arrived in Banda Aceh, son -his children who are already in school don't want to go to school During for two days they insisted on skipping class.


"Waiting who knew his father was in the group and asked me to pick up his father in Banda Aceh," he continued. There was one thing he regretted while in prison. His children did not go to class. They also didn't dare to go home. Now it finances their own educational needs. None scholarships for children the conflict they receive. No help whatsoever he accepted.


She always remembers her husband's trust.

“Before this disaster befell us, he once said something to me. "Whatever happens to us, the children must stay in school because that is the only thing that will be their future," recalled AS. US hopes the government will pay attention to education children of people who have a fate like him. For him, it was very importantthat he too can fulfill her husband's mandate.

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