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Jakarta Post

Police urged to uphold rule of law in case against rights activist

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 3, 2016   /  08:21 pm
Police urged to uphold rule of law in case against rights activist The late Freddy Budiman (seated center) attends the second hearing of his appeal at the Cilacap District Court in Central Java in May. (thejakartapost.com/Agus Maryono)

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has reminded the National Police to uphold the rule of law in their investigation of a defamation case involving rights activist Haris Azhar.

Komnas HAM chairman Imdadun Rahmat said the investigation should not only show a transparent and fair legal process, but would also serve to demonstrate whether internal reform of the police had indeed occurred.

“We hope this case will be seen as proof of the implementation of freedom of expression and information distribution. If the case involves criminal charges, I will be forced to severely doubt that the internal reform process in the National Police has genuinely occurred,” Imdadun told journalists on Wednesday. He was referring to the spread of executed convict Freddy Budiman’s testimony to Haris, in which the drug lord claimed he had made deals with members of the National Police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Narcotics Agency (BNN) in running his drug businesses.

Imdadun said if the National Police decided to prosecute Aris, it would create a bad precedent because the public would become reluctant to report information to mass media or the police on worries they too would be prosecuted.

On Tuesday, the National Police, TNI and BNN reported Haris to the police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim), accusing him of violating the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law.

Freddy’s testimony was circulated one day before he was executed on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, on July 29.

Haris circulated Freddy's testimony on the alleged involvement of personnel from the three institutions in his international drug network through social media.

Citing an example, Freddy said in his statement that a Chinese-manufactured ecstasy pill cost only Rp 5,000 (38 US cents) each to produce, and that he did not as such mind giving Indonesian law enforcement personnel Rp 5,000 to Rp 10,000 per pill smuggled into Indonesia, in exchange for protection. (ebf)

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