Amnesty asks government to focus on resolving May 22 demonstration torture case

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(photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia has announced it has submitted an open letter to Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). The letter was sent after Amnesty International found evidence of acts of violence and torture during the 21 – 23 May demonstrations in Jakarta.

The letter was created in commemoration of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture which falls on June 26. In the letter, Amnesty International focused on the use of torture and poor treatment by Police on May 23 in Kampung Bali and the surrounding areas in Central Jakarta.

Papang Hidayat, a researcher at Amnesty International Indonesia, stated that in the letter, Amnesty International requested investigations on the acts of violence committed by the police in handling the riots on May 21 – 23.

Amnesty International found that at least four men had been beaten up by ten police officers in a parking lot. One of the torture victims experienced severe injuries and had to be treated in an ICU.

“Other than our previous recommendations asking for there to be an effective investigation, it must be independent and separate from the institution which is suspected of carrying out the torture,” said Papang on Tuesday (25/6/2019).

In the letter, explained Papang, were also recommendations for the government to revise the ban on the criminalization of torture.

“We also ask that torture be a part of our criminal law. It is in the criminal code (KUHP) but unfortunately in the past 30 years ago until now it has never been implemented,” said Papang.

“It shouldn’t have to wait for the criminal code. Government policymakers and the House of Representatives (DPR) should just draft a bill specifically for torture,” he continued.

The open letter was also aimed at the parliament, National Police Commission Head, Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, National Police, and Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) Commander. “…as our country has declared itself as a pro-human rights nation even though there are human rights violations against suspected criminals,” said Papang. (dsy)