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Jakarta Post

License to kill and the sin of pride

  • Agus Purnomo

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 9 2013   /  10:51 am

It makes my heart sink to read about the Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) commandos who allegedly killed four detainees in a prison last month. How could the pride of the Indonesian Military (TNI) engage in such vigilante behavior?

As always, there are many sides to the story.

First, my heart goes out to the late First Sgt. Heru Santosa, a Kopassus soldier on intelligence assignment at the Hugo Café in Yogyakarta, who was savagely killed after being tortured by alleged thugs who were later detained by the police for further investigation. Reports say that Heru was kicked, beaten and stabbed to death before being dragged like a dead dog.

Next is the story of the camaraderie or esprit de corps of his fellow soldiers, especially those who served together with Heru in the past.

One particular person is the Kopassus soldier identified as U, who was not only on...