Violence involving TNI worsening, most violations committed by Army: Kontras

Source – October 4, 2020
Army soldiers confront protesters in Papua – Undated (Antara)

Rakhmat Nur Hakim, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) says that the level of violence and human rights violence committed by or involving members of the TNI (Indonesian military) has risen over the last year.

“Over the period October 2019 to September 2020, Kontras recorded 76 incidents of violence and human rights violations committed by or involving members of the TNI. This figure is an increase on last year when on the TNI’s 74th anniversary there were 58 incidents [recorded for the previous year]”, said Kontras researcher Rivanlee Anandar during a virtual press conference held in the context of the TNI’s 75th anniversary.

These acts of violence took the form of shootings, intimidation, torture, violence during agrarian conflicts, vandalism and destruction of property. There were also clashes with the police, human rights violations, sexual violence and the forced dispersal of demonstrators.

Anandar said that out of the 76 cases involving the TNI, most were committed by Army units. According to Anandar, this was because Army units are often involved in civil security so violence inevitably occurs.

Of the 76 incidents of violence gathered from various different sources, 100 people were injured, 43 people were killed, four people arrested and eight people were questioned using physical coercement.

Anandar said that what must be done in the future is improve the supervision of military personnel in their respective units and reduce the involvement of TNI personnel in the civilian sphere.

In addition to this, reform of military justice is also needed, in particular for cases of violence which result in civilian casualties.

“Incidents of violence by the TNI have not been accompanied by an increase in supervision between each unit level”, said Anandar.

“And bearing in mind that the level of violence by TNI members is consistently higher among Army units compared with the Navy and Air Force, this indicates that when the Army is involved in the civilian sphere it inevitably commits acts of intimidation”, he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Kontras: Kekerasan yang Libatkan TNI Meningkat, Terbanyak Terkait Angkatan Darat”.]