Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) urged National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo to evaluate the repressive actions committed by the Central Java Police against residents of Wadas Village, Bener District, Purworejo Regency.
The repressive measure was taken after villagers opposed the land measurement plan for the andesite mining project related to the construction of the Bener Dam project.
The incident led to the arrest of at least 60 villagers including children who were taken to the police station. "Even though the police eventually released them due to pressure from various parties, including members of the DPR," said IPW Chairman Sugeng Teguh Santoso in his statement, Wednesday, Feb. 9.
According to Sugeng, the incident was very concerning as they were intimidated and physically threatened and even beaten. In addition, the police swept phones and cut off the internet network.
This repression, he argued, was identical to the acts of violence carried out by the authorities during the New Order era. "Public trust in the National Police has declined. This is because the police do not reflect the Police Reform proclaimed through Law No. 2 of 2002 concerning the National Police which upholds human rights," said Sugeng.
Previously, the Central Java Ombudsman said the police's assistance for the National Land Agency (BPN) officers to measure the andesite mining land in Wadas Village had the potential for maladministration. "Ombudsman asked the Police to act more humanely in providing security," said the Central Java Ombudsman Head Siti Farida, Wednesday.