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'My disgrace': Sumatra Police chief vows to investigate alleged wrongful arrest in rape case

Jakarta Post - February 27, 2019

Yulia Savitri, Palembang – The South Sumatra Police say they are looking into the alleged wrongful arrest and assault committed by their officers in relation to a rape case in Ogan Ilir regency.

It was reported that 25-year-old Harismail, also known as Ujang, had been treated at Bhayangkara Hospital in Palembang for injuries allegedly inflicted by police officers while he was illegally detained.

"We will thoroughly investigate the matter, both the alleged rape and wrongful arrest," South Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Zulkarnain Adinegara said earlier this week. "This is my disgrace, my responsibility."

Harismail was found beaten and bruised in Rambutan district. He claimed several men had kidnapped him and forced him to admit to raping a midwife named Y. When he refused, he said they tied him up and beat him.

His friend Krisna, a witness to the kidnapping, said two cars and three motorbikes were involved in the incident. The men fired three shots before taking Haris away, he added.

"I asked them where they were going to take [Harismail]. They said to the police headquarters. I was confused," Krisna said.

Harismail's condition is improving, according to his father, Hayan, 61. "The bruises were serious when he was found," he said on Monday, adding that his family had reported the incident to the police.

He pointed out that their home was relatively far from the village health post (Poskesdes) where Y worked and lived. One would have to pass through eight subdistricts to get to the Poskesdas, he said. "Also, we don't know Y. We hope justice will be served."

Y said she was staying in the Poskesdas on Tuesday night last week when a group of unidentified men allegedly broke into the clinic, then robbed and raped her. They reportedly stole various items, including a cell phone and Rp 500,000 (US$35.63) in cash.

The police set up a special team to hunt down the perpetrators as the case is considered an extraordinary crime. However, investigators say that a forensic examination conducted on Y did not reveal any signs of rape.

The forensic laboratory's Palembang branch has processed the crime scene but found no evidence that could point to the perpetrators, such as blood, sperm, hair and fingerprints.

Investigators also found no footprints inside or outside the Poskesdas, even though it had rained on the Tuesday evening in question, said laboratory head Sr. Comr. I Nyoman Sukena.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/02/27/my-disgrace-sumatra-police-chief-vows-to-investigate-alleged-wrongful-arrest-in-rape-case.html