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Protest continues over Dolly closure

Publication Date : 06-06-2014

 

 Sex workers in the Dolly red-light district of Surabaya, East Java in Indonesia staged a rally on Thursday, protesting the city administration’s plan to shut down the area, which is one of the biggest in Southeast Asia.

“I make a living here, Bu. Don’t try to intervene [in our lives]. If Dolly is closed, where should I get money? If I end up wandering the streets, it will only add to your problems,” said Susiati, a 34-year-old sex worker, while reading out a letter for Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini, popularly known as Risma.

Susiati and other sex workers will also write letters to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Law and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin.

Risma has pledged to close down Dolly by June 18, saying that the closure would be in line with City bylaw No. 7/ 1999 that bans using a building as a place of prostitution.

Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri is scheduled to join Risma in officially close down the area on June 18.

The closure has been strongly opposed by Risma’s deputy, Wisnu Sakti Buana, triggering a fresh feud between the two officials, who are both belong to the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).

Meanwhile, Surabaya Social Agency head Supomo said his office had found it hard to list all sex workers in the area, adding that they had refused to move out of Dolly.

According to the agency, there are at least 1,187 sex workers and 311 pimps in Dolly. Most of them are from outside Surabaya.

“The Social Affairs Ministry has allocated a of 8 billion rupiah (US$687,728) for the 1,187 sex workers. They will receive 5.050 million rupiah each to start a new life,” Supomo said.

 

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