Moh Khory Alfarizi, Jakarta – Director of Amnesty International Usman Hamid assessed that the excessive deployment of police officers in Wadas Village, Bener District, Purworejo Regency, Central Java must be accounted for as the authorities practiced repressive actions against local residents.
"We consider that the deployment of the troops is the responsibility of the central government, in this case, President Jokowi, ministers, and also the regional government, Governor of Central Java Ganjar Pranowo," said Usman in a virtual press conference, Thursday, Feb. 10.
According to Usman, the police troops mobilization was a response to the letter from the Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR) on Feb. 3 and from the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning or the National Land Agency (ATR/BPN) dated Feb. 4 regarding the request for personnel to secure the inventory and identification activity in Wadas Village.
Amnesty International also asked all arrested villagers to be released, and articles subjected to them should be repealed as it was not in accordance with the criminal procedural law and no evidence was found.
Usman argued that the state is obliged to bring back the good name of those arrested, including those from the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute who were beaten. He also urged the government to withdraw police personnel from the village so that residents could return to their normal activities.
Instead, the Amnesty International Director underlined that the authorities should investigate internet issues or cell phone network interference and social media hacking.
"The state is constitutionally obliged to guarantee the rights of its citizens, including Wadas villagers to express opinions, and their safety," he said.