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Indonesians Decry Shooting of Anti-Corruption Activist


Scores of activists in Bangkalan, a city on Indonesia's Madura Island, have staged a protest to condemn the shooting of an anti-corruption activist by an unidentified gunman.

Outside the governor's office Thursday, the protesters called on police to fully investigate the Monday attack that put Mathur Husairi in the hospital.

Wawan Hendriyanto, coordinator of a local anti-violence coalition, told VOA's Indonesian service that he thought the shooting was linked to Mathur's criticism of officials over corruption-related issues.

"We all know that Mathur Husairi was criticizing policies of Bangkalan authority," he said. "It is impossible that there are other reasons, because [he] is just a regular activist. He is not involved in other issues that could endanger others."

The deputy chairman of the group Madura Corruption Watch, Fachri, said he hoped Mathur could assist with the investigation once he recovers.

"Mathur’s recovery is the most important thing, because he was shot at a close range. Perhaps he could recognize the perpetrator," said Fachri, who like many other Indonesians uses just one name. "To resolve this case, we rely on the police. As to what extent they would investigate the case, this is their duty and authority."

Bangkalan Police Chief Sulistiyono on Tuesday told VOA that police had already questioned seven witnesses but had not yet established a motive for the attack.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Indonesian service.

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