Jakarta – Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia's largest Muslim organizations, has criticized what it called an excessive use of force by police officers against people protesting against the controversial Job Creation Law over the past week.
Busyro Muqoddas, the head of Muhammadiyah's legal division who formerly served as a Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairperson, said the repressive measures taken by police personnel against members of the public contradicted their mission to protect and serve civilians.
"The National Police is not a tool of the ruling power," he said on Wednesday, "Therefore, it must side ethically with the people."
Busyro went on to say that the violence committed by the police force had to be fully accounted for. The general public and the press played an important role in exposing possible abuses of power by the police as a form of control, he said.
Police brutality represented a step toward political mayhem, Busyro claimed. "If it goes out of control, [violence] will continue to happen, breeding a brutal form of democracy expressed through police brutality," he said as quoted by kompas.com.
On Tuesday, four medical volunteers affiliated with the Muhammadiyah Disaster Management Center reportedly fell victim to police brutality while doing their job to monitor the protests against the jobs law in Jakarta.
Human rights activists and civil society groups have called out the police for using excessive force against protesters and journalists during protests against the controversial law last week, with hundreds of reported cases of alleged assault and of missing people. (rfa)