Andi Muhammad Ibnu Aqil, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) have called on authorities to investigate police shootings, following the deaths of criminals in several cities as part of a special operation to beef up security ahead of the Asian Games, which begin on Aug. 18.
Amnesty International stated that, in a span of three weeks since June 29, police officers in Jakarta, South Sumatra and Lampung shot dead 15 suspected criminals and injured another 41.
Since Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Idham Aziz instructed his team to crack down on street crime in Jakarta, 320 people have been detained and 52 have been shot, 11 of whom were shot dead.
Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono argued that the suspected criminals were shot for resisting arrest.
Amnesty International Indonesia spokesman Haeril Halim said that the police should only use weapons for self-defense or to prevent others from being killed.
"The use of deadly firearms on purpose should be done only if absolutely necessary to save someone's life," Haeril said in written statement on Wednesday.
He said that, despite claims from the police that the shootings were lawful, it was unclear whether they acted purely out of self-defense or if they were following a superior's orders, as no independent investigation had been launched.