Martahan Sohuturon, Jakarta – Four Indonesian police (Polri) officers have been found guilty in relation to a clash that took place in Bomou village, South Tigi district, Deiyai regency, Papua, in early August. Their only punishment however is that they must issue a verbal apology and will be transferred.
Those found guilty are former sectoral Police Chief Inspector Maing Raini and Mobile Brigade (Brimob) platoon commander (Danton) Iptu Aslam Djafar along with two of his subordinates Second Deputy Inspector Esra Sattun and Sergeant Victor Manggaprouw.
Papua regional police public relations chief Senior Commissioner Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said Wednesday that the four offices were sentenced to making a verbal apology by a hearing of the Indonesian Police Code of Ethics Commission (KKEP) and will be demoted and transferred to different posts for one year.
“The result of the ethics hearing was that the four were declared guilty of deplorable [tercela] actions”, said Kamal when sought for confirmation on Thursday August 31.
He said that the Code of Ethics hearing declared Maing guilty of failing to report to his superiors and going to the location of the incident without wearing a uniform.
In addition to this the hearing found that Maing failed to follow the directions of his superior and should have gone to the location of the incident with his officers without bringing Brimob personnel.
Maing was found to have failed to control his officers, abandoned officers conducting negotiations with the community and leaving the location of the incident without paying attention to officers who were still confronting protesters.
According to Kamal, Maing’s actions violated Article 7 Paragraph 1 Subsections b and c and Article 13 Paragraph 1 Subsection e of Police Regulation Number 14/2011 on the Indonesian Police Professional Code of Ethics.
“Indonesian police officers are obliged to maintain an image of solidarity, the credibility, reputation and respect of Polri and are obliged to carry out their duties in a professional manner. Polri officers are prohibited from misusing their powers in carrying out their duties as police”, he said.
Meanwhile the ethics commission found that Iptu Aslam Djafar had deployed Brimob officers as security at the company without permission from his superiors.
Djafar was also found to have failed to comprehend the situation and should have allowed the sectoral police to first resolve the problem and should have followed the instructions of the sectoral police chief as the head of operational control (kodal) at the time.
At the time, said Kamal, the sectoral police chief ordered police to withdraw because conditions were unfavorable. Djafar however only withdrew slowly and as a result the protesters pushed forward approaching and attacking the officers.
He said that Djafar as the platoon commander should not have allowed the protesters to get too close to the police officers.
Meanwhile Kamal said that the ethics commission declared Esra Sattun and Victor Manggaprouw guilty of deciding to use live ammunition without orders from their superiors and directing fire above and below the protesters without due consideration.
“This is what possibly resulted in victims falling, specifically the one that was hit by live rounds”, he said.
Kamal added that the ethics commission found five other Brimob officers not guilty because they carried out their duties as police in accordance with standard operational procedures as stated under Article 15 Paragraph 3 of National Police Regulation 1/2009 on The Use of Force in Police Actions.
The clash in Deiyai, which occurred on August 1, 2017, was triggered by dissatisfaction on the part of local people because a company building a bridge in the Oneibo river area refused to help them.
The residents had asked the company to transport a person in a critical condition to hospital after they had drowned in the river but the company refused to provide a vehicle.
Local people eventually obtained a vehicle from elsewhere and took the person to hospital but they were unable to be saved. The angry residents then returned to the encampment at the bridge construction and vandalized a work post.
Brimob and Tigi Sectoral Police officer immodestly went to location. The crowd went on a rampage and police fired shots. One person was shot dead and eight others wounded (wis)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Penembakan di Deiyai, Empat Polisi Divonis Minta Maaf.]