The Jakarta Post
A student from Halu Oleo University in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, has died after a demonstration in front of the provincial legislative council (DPRD) building descended into violence on Thursday.
The 21-year-old student, identified as La Randi, died after allegedly being shot. He was brought to Dr. R. Ismoyo Hospital at 3:30 p.m. in a critical condition with a chest wound.
“[Randi] has passed away,” Kurniawan Hendrik, the coordinator of the student protest, confirmed to The Jakarta Post on Thursday evening.
Another Halu Oleo University student, Laode Muhammad Yusuf Farwadi, underwent surgery at Bahteramas Hospital after he suffered severe head injuries. He was in a critical condition as of 7:50 p.m. Jakarta time on Thursday.
Head of the Indonesian Ombudsman’s Southeast Sulawesi office Mastri Susilo, who visited Randi at the hospital, also confirmed that the student died despite receiving treatment from medical personnel.
“We will launch an investigation into where the bullet [came from],” Mastri said as quoted by tempo.co, adding that he suspected the incident was the result of a failure to follow police procedures.
Randi’s body was reportedly taken to Abunawas General Hospital in Kendari for an autopsy.
Student protests in front of Southeast Sulawesi DPRD ended in clashes between protesters and the police on Thursday, with police firing water cannons and tear gas after some protesters made an attempt to break through the council building’s gate.
Southeast Sulawesi Police denied any involvement in Randi’s death, with police spokesperson Adj. Comr. Sr. Harry Goldenhardt saying that the personnel securing the protests were armed with neither live rounds nor rubber bullets.
“The personnel only had batons and tear gas canisters,” Harry said as quoted by tempo.co.
The rally in Kendari on Thursday was the latest in a series of rallies held by tens of thousands of students nationwide since Monday, in protest at controversial bills ─ including a revision to the Criminal Code ─ and what they perceive as attempts to roll back the country’s democracy and anticorruption commitment.
Some of the protests, including those held in Jakarta and Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Tuesday, saw hundreds of students injured, with dozens of others in the capital still unaccounted for as of Thursday.
Reports filed with public advocacy groups in Jakarta have alleged police personnel used excessive measures when dealing with protesters, as well as journalists who are covering the protests.
Human rights groups have demanded an investigation into the death of Randi, as they called for the police to refrain from using excessive force when handling student protests.
“The authorities should immediately launch a thorough, independent and impartial investigation and the perpetrator should be brought to court,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said.
Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) coordinator Yati Andriyani concurred with Usman, as she “condemned” the police’s slow response to demands its personnel refrain from using harsh measures during student protests.