Mirza Bagaskara, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) criticized the police for naming 17 workers as suspects in the deadly clash at a nickel smelter facility of PT Gunbuster Nickel Industri or PT GNI in Morowali, Central Sulawesi. KontraS member Rozy Brilian argued that the suspect naming was filled with irregularities.
One of them, Rozy explained, is in the arrest of the 17 workers without any legal assistance and no investigation. While in fact, the Criminal Code Procedure (KUHAP) stipulates that suspects have the right to receive legal assistance from legal counsel.
"Apart from that, the Morowali Police have also committed a serious violation of Article 56 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code which requires legal assistance for those charged with a sentence of five years or more," said Rozy in a written statement, Tuesday, January 31, 2023.
He also highlighted the police's transparency regarding data on dead victims in the riot that have not been published to date. "The results of the post-mortem examination are necessary as an effort to be accountable in the law enforcement process," Rozy underlined.
Rozy further lamented a number of government and apparatus' statements that seemed to corner the workers while the clash stemmed from the company's mismanagement that workers' rights were not fulfilled.
"The riot was motivated by demands for Occupational Health and Safety (K3) within the company which was never implemented," said Rozy.
As widely reported, the clash among PT GNI workers took place on January 14, 2023, when some of them held a peaceful protest demanding their rights. The incident thus killed a number of workers.