Jakarta – The Anti-Corruption Social Coalition says that it is pessimistic about the police’s effort to uncover the perpetrator behind the 2017 acid attack against senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan.
This was conveyed during a theatrical action near the national police headquarters (Mabes Polri) in South Jakarta on Monday July 15. The coalition is made up of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Amnesty International Indonesia and the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH).
The protesters began the protest by standing in front of a replica speed hump – known colloquially in Indonesia as a “sleeping police officer” (polisi tidur). They also held up photos of Baswedan, posters demanding the protection of human rights activists as well as placards containing facts about the Baswedan case.
ICW Law and Judicial Monitoring Division member Wana Alamsyah said that the theatrical action depicting the sleeping police officer was a reflection of the joint fact finding team (TGPF) and police who have failed to reveal the perpetrator of the acid attack, yet the case is now more than two years old.
“The sleeping police officer is a reflection that the TGPF has finished [its investigation] but has not announced [the perpetrator], we’re pessimistic about the work done by police. Because after two years of dealing with the Novel case, they should have produced a result, found as point of clarity, namely a suspect”, said Alamsyah at the protest.
Alamsyah also compared the Baswedan case with the recent murder of a family in Pulomas, East Jakarta where the police were able to quickly arrest the killer of the family using a CCTV recording of the incident.
“If we compare this with the Pulomas case in which police were able to make an arrest in only 19 hours, why in his case have the police been so slow in making an arrest”, he said.
If this case is not quickly solved, Alamsyah said it will become a bad president for the police as an institution.
The coalition also highlighted growing concern over the problem of protection for human rights and anti-corruption workers. Based on their data, there have been 91 cases of intimidation against anti-corruption activists.
Earlier, national police headquarters public relations division head Inspector General M Iqbal stated that the TPGF had discovered interesting new findings about the Baswedan case.
The police however failed to reveal the results to the public but plan to hold a press conference in relation to the team’s finding on Wednesday July 17.
One of the members of the TPGF, Hendardi, took the opportunity to say that they suspect that the acid attack against Baswedan was politically motivated. In addition to this, team member Hermawan that a three-star police general had been questioned over the case.
The TPGF was established by Indonesian police chief General Tito Karnavian through Directive Number Sgas/3/I/HUK.6.6/2019. The team, which is made up of 65 members, was given a six months tenure to investigate the case which ended on July 7.
Baswedan’s face had acid thrown on it by an unknown individual near his home shortly after attending Friday prayers in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, on April 11, 2017. (gst/arh)
The acid attack on senior KPK investigator Novel Baswedan, which took place on April 11, 2017 as he was walking home after Friday prayers, is widely believed to be related to an investigation which Baswedan and the KPK were conducting into dozens of senior politicians involved in the e-KTP electronic ID card corruption scandal. Under mounting public pressure, in December 2018 the government formed a Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF) to investigate the case involving the KPK, experts and senior police officials – despite the fact that on several occasions Baswedan has said that he suspects a senior “police general” was the behind the attack – and the very reason many believe police have made no progress in the case.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aksi ‘Polisi Tidur’, LSM Pesimistis pada Polri di Kasus Novel”.]