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KontraS reveals police ill-treatment against detainees

Tempo - October 3, 2019

Syailendra Persada, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) opined that torture and other ill-treatment committed by the police against people in custody is a kind of culture among the law enforcers.

"We have monitored since 2010 until now that the police violence is still ongoing. The torture usually occurs in the interrogation rooms," KontraS advocacy head Putri Kanesia told Tempo, Monday, October 1.

Thus, in commemoration of the International Day of Non-Violence which falls on October 2, KontraS urged the police to stop the abusive practice.

Based on the complaint reports throughout 2011-2019, there are 445 cases of alleged torture against detainees by the police, and that the victims amounted to 693 people. The report, however, is only the tip of the iceberg as many victims and their relatives fear of submitting a report.

Putri reiterated that according to the commission's investigation results, the police applied abusive and coercive techniques in order to extract a confession or evidence.

"This happens because the police investigators are not capable enough in digging information [during the examination] so they use the torture method," Putri added.

Moreover, she went on, there is still no specific regulation and strict sanctions for those committing abusive practice. The Criminal Code (KUHP) has articles regarding persecution, yet the term is not strong.

According to Putri, discussions about the anti-torture draft bill had been brought up but it was stuck at the Parliament as they rejected it to be listed in the national legislation program (prolegnas).

"We are encouraging the new House to include this anti-torture bill in the discussion," Putri remarked. "To protect victims."

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo did not shrug off the saying that there are still police officers applying the abusive practice to obtain a confession from detainees. "We still receive reports about officers tortured detainees, even though such practice was not allowed," said Dedi.

He stressed that the police have the National Police Chief Regulation that prohibits such practices, and it has been disseminated since the police academy training. However, Dedi admitted, there were still members who did not abide by the rules. "There are thousands of police members, we cannot oversee [each of them]."

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1255253/kontras-reveals-police-ill-treatment-against-detainees