Jakarta – Family members of a detainee who reportedly died at the Balerang Police station in Batam, Riau Islands, on Saturday have accused officers of torturing him to death.
The accusation came to public attention after the detainee's nephew, Alfajar Madani, shared the chronology of his uncle's passing in Twitter. Alfajar's tweets went viral, gaining more than 23,000 retweets and comments.
"I want to ask the readers [of this tweet] to voice [my demands for] justice for my deceased uncle, Hendri Alfred Bakarie. He was apprehended by police officers on Aug. 6 at around 3 p.m [...]. The officers did not bring any arrest warrant," Alfajar tweeted on Monday.
He said the following day several officers, who claimed to be from the Balerang Police, had brought Hendri to his house to search for evidence but had found nothing.
"On Aug. 8, at around 1 p.m. police officers came to my uncle's house to pick up his wife. They said she was allowed to visit him. So my uncle's wife, my aunts, my grandpa and grandma went to the Barelang Police station [...]. At the station, officers told them that my uncle had passed away at 7:13 a.m. that morning," he wrote.
Alfajar's family members then went to Budi Kemuliaan Hospital to take Hendri's body. However, they said they found bruises all over his body and his head was wrapped in a plastic bag.
According to Alfajar, police told the press that Hendri had died at the hospital after an asthma attack. Alfajar, however, said that his uncle had no history of asthma.
Balerang Police chief Sr. Comr. Purwadi Wahyu Anggoro refused to comment on the incident. "I don't want to give any statement for now. We'll hand the case to doctors to determine his cause of death," he said on Tuesday as reported by tempo.co. (nal)