Jakarta – A joint investigation of the May 2019 affair in Jakarta has found alleged human rights (HAM) violations against journalists, medical teams, local people and protesters in the police’s handling of the May 22 actions. In addition to this, there were also legal and procedural misconduct in dealing with the protests.
These are the initial findings of a joint investigation by the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Jakarta), the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), the Lokataru Foundation, Amnesty International Indonesia and the Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers).
Quoting from a press release on Sunday May 26, the team revealed that there were at least 14 findings that were highlighted related to the police’s handling of the riots. Namely, victims, causes, search for the mastermind, the national police’s (Polri) internal investigation team, indications of wrongdoing in handling the demonstrations and blocking victim’s access to hospitals.
In addition to this, there was a failure to promptly deal with victims, torture, behavior that was shameful, inhuman and undignified, obstructing information for the families of those arrested, wrongful arrests and violence against medical teams.
Not to be left out, there were restrictions on coverage by journalists including violence, persecution, the seizure of equipment and damage to personal property, obstruction of access to people arrested for the public and advocates, and restrictions on social media communication.
Based on these findings, the team drew two conclusions. First, “There are indications of HAM violations against victims from various groups, namely medial teams, journalists, local people, protesters and covering various ages”.
Second, “Misconduct occurred in terms of the law and existing procedures related to the KUHAP [Criminal Procedural Code], the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the Convention on Children’s Rights (CRC), Perkap [National Police Regulation] 1/2009, Perkap 9/2008, Perkap 16/2006 on the Use of Force, Perkap 8/2010 and Perkap 8/2009”.
Based on these findings, the team is making several recommendations. First, that the National Police investigators must immediately send copies of arrest notifications to the individual families of those arrested.
Second, the National Police must provide the public with a detailed report on the use of force by publishing the Use of Force Form (A): Counter Measures-Control and the Use of Force Form (B): Leadership Analysis and Evaluation, which is an attachment to Perkap Number 1/2009 on the Use of Force in National Police Actions.
“For some time Polri has always claimed it uses force in accordance with procedure in confronting mass actions or targeting alleged criminal perpetrators but without being accompanied with clear accountability through the publication of these kinds of reports”, read the press release.
Third, hospitals must provide public information on the number of people being treated or that have died.
Fifth [sic], the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the Ombudsman, the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) and the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III must immediately evaluate the National Police’s performance during the May 21 and 22 actions in incidents which could potentially represent human rights violations.
“Komnas HAM, Komnas Perempuan [the National Commission on Violence Against Women] and the Ombudsman with the involvement of civil [society groups] needs to further investigate these incidents and find the mastermind behind the affair in order to prevent a repeat of the affair and impunity in the future”, asserted the press release.
Earlier, Indonesian Police Chief General Tito Karnavian asserted that the police applied appropriate procedures in its handling of the May 22 riots ranging from the persuasive to the repressive. “And offices understood these stages”, he said.
National Police Public Information Bureau Chief Brigadier General Dedi Prasetyo stated that they will punish officers who are proven to have violated regulations in the process of securing the May 22 riots.
In order to understand this, there are mechanisms that must be followed before finally handing down sanctions against officers.
“Mechanisms and disciplinary hearings, from the mechanism of disciplinary hearings only then can it be decided what violations and misconduct was committed”, said Prasetyo at the offices of the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam) on Saturday May 25.
Based on data from the Jakarta provincial government as of Thursday May 23, 11 pm local time, eight people died in the May 22 actions. Meanwhile the national police say that seven people died. The number of people injured has reached 730. (pmg/arh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Diduga ada Pelanggaran HAM oleh Aparat dalam Aksi 22 Mei”.]