October 24, 2003

A first-year student has died in an initiation ceremony at Jakarta's Institute for Public Administration.

Wahyu Hidayat is thought to have been a victim of the military-style discipline at the IPA. A rigid hierarchy is imposed on students, and second years assume the right to discipline first years. One of the nine suspects said the group was trying to "straighten him (Wahyu) out".

The death was not the first at IPA nor indeed at an Indonesian university, where "hazing" of freshers is considered normal and healthy.

The Indonesian minister of home affairs previously took direct control of the IPA after an Indonesian TV channel showed footage of another student being "disciplined" by fellow students. The parents of a third student beaten by his peers had to spend more than $3,000 (£1,790) on medical treatment for him.

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