KontraS presses for legal action against officers shooting students

Jakarta Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) urged the Indonesian Police (Polri) to initiate legally process against officers, who shot dead two Halu Oleo University students and not merely accentuate ethics and procedures.

None were named suspects in the deaths of La Randi, 20, and Muhammad Yusuf Kardawi, 19, during a student rally in Kendari, capital of Southeast Sulawesi Province, more than two weeks ago, Yati Andriyani, the KontraS coordinator, noted here on Monday.

“We demand that the accountability of Polri in probing this case is not just limited to revealing ethical and procedural violation. The Polri chief must prioritize accountability of this case through criminal liability,” she added.

She also noted that Polri Chief General Tito Karnavian’s decision to dismiss the Southeast Sulawesi Police chief from his post following the incident left a lot to be desired since the perpetrators were not revealed.

Based on its investigation, KontraS arrived at a conclusion that police officers had acted beyond the scope of procedures and employed disproportionate and immeasurable force in handling the demonstrating students in Kendari on September 27, 2019.

Based on information from several witnesses, the police personnel had, since the start, used guns to disperse the students when they attempted to drive away the students.

“In handling the demonstration, the police have followed standard operational procedures to a certain level. However, in this case, we suspect guns were used since the start,” she pointed out.

Randi died after he was shot in the chest, while Yusuf was shot in the head. The police denied that officers had used live bullets.

In the meantime, Akbar Alamsyah, 19, who had joined a student rally in Jakarta, succumbed to his wound on October 10, 2019, after being hospitalized for 15 days. He suffered from a cracked skull, kidney damage, and bruises over his body and face.

The police claim that Akbar was injured after falling from a fence, though the victim’s family did not believe it.

Earlier, KontraS had called on the Indonesian Police to initiate legal action against officers using violence and excessive force against university students staging demonstrations in several regions on September 24.

“KontraS has continued to monitor this. If there is proof against police officers, who commit violent acts, they must be punished,” Andriyani had remarked on Sept 25.

Andriyani highlighted the need to put a stop to the violent crackdown on university students involved in demonstrations, as it only fueled ire among the students and public.

The NGO also called on the police to release students arrested during rallies held to protest changes in the laws on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Criminal Codes (KUHP), among other things.

The police must also not prevent access to legal aid for the arrested students, she added.

“Today, KontraS, in cooperation with other civilian networks, will open a command post to receive complaints,” she revealed.

The Jakarta Police confirmed injuries to 39 police officers and 265 university students during the rally in front of the Parliament Building in Jakarta on Sept 24. Some 18 thousand police officers were stationed to guard the rally in Jakarta.

Source: Antara News