Jakarta – The Metro Jaya regional police summons for two human rights activists, Lokataru Foundation Executive Director Haris Azhar and Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti to appear for questioning, appears to be rushed and gives the impression of being pushed through.
Clean Indonesia Advocacy Team member and Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) General Chairperson Muhammad Isnur has warned the police to use legal proceedings which are in accordance with prevailing regulations and human rights principles.
"The summons and legal proceedings against Fatia and Haris give the impression of being pushed through and rushed", said Isnur in a press release received by CNN Indonesia on Tuesday January 18.
Isnur compared the summoning of Azhar and Maulidiyanti with other cases where the police often delay dealing with reports from the public and the many cases that are left idle.
Moreover, said Isnur, the police have often been found to ignore pubic complaints, hence the emergence of the popular hashtag #PercumaLaporPolisi (it's useless reporting to the police) on social media.
Meanwhile in handling the case against Azhar and Maulidiyanti, which involves a conflict with Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the police appear to be in a hurry.
"This further confirms the alleged conflict of interest in a case involving the [business] interests of a public official", said Isnur.
Isnur also said that Azhar and Maulidiyanti have showed a cooperative attitude in responding to police summonses.
This was shown when they sent a request to postpone questioning through their lawyer because they were unable to attend at the time designated by the police.
"The police however never gave a serious response to the request for a postponement of questioning which was requested", said Isnur.
Isnur also emphasised that the case which has ensnared Azhar and Maulidiyanti is related to their critical remarks over Panjaitan's alleged involvement in mining businesses in Papua.
Isnur is asking that Panjatian's criminalisation of Azhar and Maulidiyanti stop and that the police guarantee Azhar and Maulidiyanti's freedom of expression and not to act arbitrarily.
"We are urging the Metro Jaya regional police to halt the legal process which is an attempt at criminalisation by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan", said Isnur.
As has been reported, on the morning of Tuesday January 18, four police officers arrived at Azhar's private residence and five police officers arrived at Maulidiyanti's residence.
The police said that the purpose of their arrival was to forcibly escort them to the Metro Jaya regional police for questioning as witnesses.
Azhar and Maulidiyanti however refused saying that they would come of their own accord later that afternoon.
Azhar and Maulidiyanti were reported to police by Pandjaitan over a video uploaded on Azhar's YouTube account titled, "There is Lord Luhut behind the Economic Relations-Military Operations in Intan Jaya!! There are also State Intelligence Agency Generals!!" which contained a discussion between Azhar and Maulidiyanti.
There report against them was register as Number STTLP/B/4702/IX/2021/SPKT/POLDA METRO JAYA and dated September 22, 2021. (iam/DAL)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "YLBHI Kritik Pemanggilan Haris Azhar-Fatia, Sindir #PercumaLaporPolisi".]