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Jakarta Post

Air Force denies intimidating residents

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Mon, October 3, 2016   /  02:22 pm
Air Force denies intimidating residents A CCTV footage shows the clash between Indonesian Air Force personnel and Sari Rejo residents in Medan, North Sumatra, on Aug. 15. (thejakartapost.com/Apriadi Gunawan)

The Air Force has denied claims that it sent personnel to intimidate residents of Sari Rejo in Medan, North Sumatra, so that they would leave their houses on a disputed plot of land.

Spokesman of Soewondo Airbase in Medan Air Maj. Jhoni Tarigan said on Monday that after the clash on Aug. 15 between Sari Rejo residents and Air Force personnel, the Air Force had never sent any personnel to intimidate the residents.

“There has been no intimidation nor ultimatum given to residents. If Air Force personnel came to residents’ houses, they may have had their own private affairs,” Jhoni told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, several residents claimed that a number of Air Force personnel had come into the area, demanding that they immediately leave their houses. They said they feared that the Air Force would soon expel them from their houses forcefully.

 On Aug. 15, dozens of personnel from the air base clashed with civilians over the land. During the incident, military personnel allegedly assaulted residents, causing at least 10 to be injured.

Speaking about the investigation into the personnel implicated in the Aug. 15 violence, Jhoni said the investigation team was working to complete the legal process.

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Air Force have set up a team to investigate the incident. Komnas HAM said it found human rights abuses during the incident. (bbn)

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