Footage of Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers hitting a married couple during a raid in South Sulawesi has sparked anger across Indonesia, prompting fresh discussions about the use of force during the Emergency Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (Emergency PPKM) protocol.
At least two Satpol PP officers in Gowa regency were caught on film hitting a couple at the warkop (cafe) they owned. Following a heated debate, one officer proceeded to slap the husband, identified as 24-year-old Ivan, who was also filming the raid as it went down.
The brutality appeared to have angered Ivan's wife, who then hit an officer with a small chair in the head. The officer then retaliated by hitting her, plunging the situation into further chaos.
According to Ivan, the incident occurred on Wednesday evening. He claimed that his cafe had been closed at the time of the raid to comply with PPKM rules, but as the shop was attached to their house, he was still hanging out there to do a live broadcast on social media when Satpol PP officers entered the place.
"One of the female PPKM officers scolded my wife because her clothing was sexy. What is the correlation of PPKM with sexy clothes? It's a warkop as well as [our] house. It's normal to wear sleepwear [there], that's why my wife got angry," Ivan said.
Ivan said that the female officer reprimanded him for playing music at the cafe, which he had turned on for the live broadcast. This officer apologized for misunderstanding the situation and left, before angry officers barged in and started pointing their fingers at the couple aggressively.
The wife reportedly challenged the officers during this time as she believed that they had not violated any rules. Ivan said he attempted to diffuse the situation and mentioned his wife's pregnancy to the officers before he was assaulted. Ivan told local media outlets that his wife is 9 months pregnant, and experienced a discharge and passed out due to a contraction following the assault.
"My wife said that we have been obeying the government's regulations and we haven't violated anything, I told them that my wife is pregnant and then he slapped me," Ivan explained.
He has filed a report against the Satpol PP officers with the Gowa Police.
At a press conference today, Alimuddin Tiro, who heads Satpol PP in Gowa regency, apologized to the victims and the public. He said that one of the officers involved was his secretary, identified by his initials MH.
Alimuddin said an investigation will proceed to determine MH's punishment, while explaining that the raid was triggered by the loud music Ivan played during adhan (Islamic call to prayer).
Alimuddin said Satpol PP officers went to Ivan's cafe after receiving reports from other residents in the area, who allegedly complained about the couple's habit of playing loud music during adhan.