NGOs question performance of BIN and police in wake of Bali bombing

Kompas Cyber Media – October 3, 2005
Aftermath of the second Bali bombing (Liputan 6)
Aftermath of the second Bali bombing (Liputan 6)

Heru Margianto – A number of non-government organisations (NGO) have questioned the performance of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the Indonesian police following the bombing in Bali and are calling for a policy audit of the two institutions.

This call was conveyed in a joint statement by the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Indonesian Center for Democracy and Human Rights (Demos), the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), the Kalyana Mitra crisis centre, the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI). The statement was read jointly by Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid, Rachland Nashidik from Imparsial and HRWG coordinator Rafendi Djamin in Jakarta on Monday October 3.

Hamid said that the Bali Bomb II incident is ironic because the Indonesian government is already part of the global war against terrorism. The government has also obtained assistance from a number of countries in order to strengthen its security institutions, in particular the national police and intelligence. Hamid added that following the first bombing in Bali in 2002, the government had also enacted laws to provide extra authority to prevent terrorist attacks.

He said that the Bali Bomb II is even more tragic and ironic because the president himself had previously warned of the possibility of a terrorist acts occurring in September and October. A similar warning was also issued by the US and Australian embassies through a travel warning, including a warning against traveling to Bali.

“We doubt whether this warning was given much attention by the national police and intelligence [agencies]. The failure of the intelligence agencies and the national police is a reflection on the low level of attention and their capacity for early detection and the prevention of terrorist acts”, said Hamid.

Nashidik added what is needed at the moment is an audit of the effectiveness of policies to handle terrorism including the performance of the institutions which have been especially formed within the national police and BIN to handle terrorism.

The NGOs are also calling for audit of the distribution of explosives in Indonesia, including those produced by the state-owned arms manufacturer PT Pindad. The reason being that the powerful explosions that have occurred in Indonesia have been confirmed to have used the explosive TNI.

“We raised this issue after the bombings on Christmas Eve 2000, but so far the government’s response has been unclear, an audit of explosives is important to ensure that there is no leakage in the process of importation, manufacture, use and distribution of explosives in Indonesia”, he said.

Separately, LBH Jakarta has questioned BIN’s performance and called on the government to carryout an internal reform of the agency.

[Translated by James Balowski.]