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Jakarta Post

Police seek procedures for legal cases involving people with disabilities

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Wed, March 8, 2017   /  11:41 am
Police seek procedures for legal cases involving people with disabilities Rights protection: People with disabilities take part in a handicraft-making training session. It is hoped that attaining these skills will allow people with disabilities to become economically independent. (Antara/File)

A committee for the protection of people with disabilities, in cooperation with the Yogyakarta Police, is composing a set of guidelines for the handling of legal cases that involve people with disabilities.

The National Police do not yet have a fixed standard operating procedure (SOP) in carrying out pre-investigation and investigation into cases that require special handling due to the involvement of people with disabilities.

The police have so far referred to the Criminal Code (KUHP) in these instances, but there are concerns that this approach might deny people with disabilities their rights to access legal services and protection.

“We, together with personnel from the Yogyakarta Police, are developing an SOP on the police’s friendly services for disabled persons who are facing legal problems,” said Setia Adi Purwanta, coordinator of the Yogyakarta Committee for the Protection and Recovery of the Rights of People with Disabilities, on Tuesday.

He said various obstacles had hampered people with disabilities’ access to optimal legal services and protection. Transportation, for instance, has burdened people with disabilities who are poor, especially if they have to make multiple trips to police stations. Communication difficulties, especially with people who suffer from intellectual disabilities, could also pose a challenge.

“During the 2014-2017 period, we recorded 113 legal cases that involved the disabled. Of the total, only eight cases could be taken to court,” said Setia.

Himawan Sutanto, a disability rights activist from the People with Disabilities Advocacy and Integration Group (SIGAB) in Yogyakarta, said only 10 out of 26 legal cases involving people with disabilities it handled in the 2014-2017 period could go to court.

Setia expressed hopes that the SOP could become the basis for the National Police chief in making a decree that would prioritize rights protection for people with disabilities. (ebf)

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