The Jakarta Post
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) released its year-end report, announcing that the majority of human rights violations in 2014 were committed by police officers.
Kontras deputy coordinator Chrisbiantoro told reporters that police were the dominant actors in violations throughout the year, particularly in cases related to natural resources, or in conflict zones like Papua.
'Police did many repressive acts on people and they always supported businessmen and state authorities instead of ordinary people,' Chrisbiantoro told a press conference on Sunday.
Kontras noted 77 of the cases were related to land disputes.
'One example was a dispute between residents and a cement factory in Karawang, West Java. Police used violence and intimidation against local people who were always the landowners,' he said.
Kontras revealed there were 67 cases of violations that occurred in Papua in 2014, a large number of which were perpetrated by police officers.
'We found out as many as 27 cases [in Papua] were involving police members,' Chrisbiantoro said, adding that other perpetrators were military, civilian, or from unidentified groups.
Police officers were also the most frequent perpetrators of torture. There were 200 cases of torture in 2014, 142 of which were done by police, while 27 and 31 cases were done by military and prison guards respectively.
Police committed the torture while their victims were under detention.
There were 22 kinds of torture, based on Kontras' data. Some of them were beatings, shootings, intimidation, electric shocks and some torture using tools like sharp objects and ropes.
Most of the torture cases involved beatings (95 cases), electric shocks (12 cases), intimidation (12 cases) and tight bindings (11 cases). The commission also revealed that there were four cases in which inmates died in the prison.
In 2013, UN member states asked Indonesia to amend the Criminal Code to include torture as a crime as stipulated in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, which Indonesia has ratified.
Torture was a crucial issue that Indonesia had to address, as recommended by UN special rapporteur Manfred Nowak, who visited the country in 2007.
It was reported that as many as 200 police officers were fired every year after they committed several violations against people during law enforcement efforts.
Indonesian National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafly Amar said last week that the police had promised to gather reports from the public as an effort to improve the institution's service in the future.
'We regretted the attitude of our personnel,' Boy said.
Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar expressed his concern about the issue of human rights under President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo. He said he believed that the new government might abandon human rights issues and focus on other issues like the country's development.
'The government will only use the human rights agenda if the case suits its interest or does not risk its image,' Haris said.
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