Churches report police to Ombudsman
Paper Edition | Page: 4
Jakarta: Representatives of congregations from two churches in Bogor and Bekasi, West Java, have reported the local police to the Indonesian Ombudsman for ignoring their complaints.
Bona Sigalingging, spokesman of the Bogor’s GKI Yasmin church, said the city police had ignored at least three reports lodged by GKI Yasmin congregants since February 2010 without clear reason.
“They don’t follow up on our reports, even the ones that have enough preliminary evidence,” he said at a meeting with Ombudsman members in Jakarta on Monday.
Bona said the congregation had reported Bogor administration secretary Bambang Gunawan and Public Order Agency chief Bambang Budianto to the police for sealing off the church in May 2010.
But the police had not followed up on the report.
Meanwhile, Bekasi’s HKBP Filadelfia congregation also reported the police for not following up on their complaints, including one of threats to kill a priest. AKBP Filadelfia Rev. Palti Panjaitan said that Bekasi Police had begun to process the reports by summoning witnesses, but none of the cases had been solved or brought to court.
Since 2010, GKI Yasmin has been unable to conduct services after the city administration revoked a permit that it had previously issued, while HKBP Filadelfia could not build its church as local residents resisted its presence. However, both GKI Yasmin and HKBP Filadelfia have since won in legal proceedings. Ombudsman member Budi Santoso said that his institution would summon the police to ask why the reports were not followed up.
Budi said that the Ombudsman received almost 6,000 complaints about the police every year, making it the second most complained about institution.
Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.