Police were suspected of violating the procedures when handling the riot on May 21st and 22nd. Jaring.id and TEMPO found that violent acts were taken since the beginning of the handling, the arrest of the suspects, all the way to the investigation processes.
From the direction of Tanah Abang, a man was apprehended with his head being in an arm-locked position. Several police officers stood in guard along the KH Wahid Hasyim Street voluntarily threw punches and kicks to this apprehended man. He eventually fell on the hard ground.
CNN TV journalist, Budi Tanjung, recorded this second by second. Unfortunately, his action was caught by the violent police officers
Budi was asked to surrender his cellphone. He refused and explained that he is a journalist while showing his Press Card.
The police did not care, he snatched the phone and Budi tried to snatch it back. He was “rewarded” with a hit on his neck, his back, his left ear, and kicks on his legs. His cellphone was confiscated and the recording of the previous police brutality was deleted by one of them.
“Don’t you dare to try to record any videos again. If you still do, this (the fist) is what goes into your mouth, so you can get the taste of it,” the police threatened Budi.
Police brutality and violence during the handling of the 21st and 22nd of May riots were witnessed by numerous journalists. But not many of them had the chance to record it.
Felix from Tirto.id mentioned that often they were prohibited from recording the action. His cellphone also did not miss the police censor on the spot.
“They deleted one video showing Brimob officers conducted battery on Sunda Street,” he said on Friday, July 5th, 2019.
Temporary data from Independent Journalists Alliance (AJI) Jakarta showed that there were 20 journalists from various media, who had become victims of violence while they were on duty covering the incident. Several spots such as Thamrin, Petamburan, and Slipi Jaya, were mentioned as the location where the violence occurred.
Ibrahim Aji Fatahillah, Field Director of iNews TV, was one of the victims. He suffered from a bruised head wound and torn arm skin.
The trigger, Aji said, was a question threw after they saw one of the suspects, carried from behind the Sarinah building, was beaten by the police on early Wednesday morning, May 22nd, 2019. They did not get answers, but punches and kicks instead.
One of the police force members threw a kick to a suspect’s stomach, Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019
The May 21st and 22nd riot in Jakarta broke in several spots. So did the violent arrest and police brutality. Some of the victims confessed they had nothing to do with the incident.
For instance, Angga Prayoga who was on his way to work on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019. He was held back at the intersection between Tanah Abang and Slipi because his usual route was blockaded by the police.
He was stopped by the police after he took a photo to report to his employer about the situation. First stop, he was questioned nicely and released soon after.
Only a few steps away from his first checkpoint, Angga once again was stopped by an officer. He was asked to undo his jacket. Alas, he has tattoos on his left and right arms.
“This is the culprit,” the police shouted, as Angga told jaring.id and TEMPO on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019.
Angga at least experienced three times of violence during his arrest. One was using a baton, landed on his forehead.
The Head of Civil Society Information Bureau of Indonesian Police’s Public Relations Division, Brigjen (Pol) Dedi Prasetyo admitted there is a possibility of wrongful arrest on the field. He also mentioned that the police did a spontaneous identification on the spot.
“Just based on visual observation, they carried out the arrest. Security officers just did a random arrest,” he said to jaring.id and TEMPO.
Those who were apprehended then being taken to several locations such as Provincial Metropolitan Police Station and West Jakarta Police Resort. The investigation process carried out to determine whether or not there was criminal conduct.
The Head of Civil Society Information Bureau of Indonesian Police’s Public Relations Division, Brigjen (Pol) Dedi Prasetyo did not deny the possibility of police using force and violence during the arrest and investigation. He said, police often did spontaneous identification on the spot.
Arman, a pseudo name, admitted that he was directed by the investigator to confess on his involvement in May 21st and 22nd riot. Blunt object violence, he said, was used during the investigation process.
“Rattan, broomstick, (and) bottle of 1L mineral water was targeting my head,” he told jaring.id and TEMPO on Tuesday, July 21st, 2019.
Violence, Arman said, was done by the investigators after he was reluctant to confess his involvement in the riot. The police claimed to have a video recording from the CCTV that can prove his involvement. He denied it and asked the police to check on his online transport order on his cellphone. He said that is proof that he had no involvement in the mentioned riot.
This refutation was responded by a police officer with an instruction for Arman to follow the procedure. While having the investigation process, the knee of the investigator hit his nose and made it bleed.
Confession on violent investigation process also came from two other people advocated by the Commission of Missing Person and Violence Victims (KontraS). Both were detained in West Jakarta Police Resort.
“The issues are the same. Torture, wrongful arrest, and as of procedure, their families never got any official letters,” Andi Muhammad Rezaldy from KontraS mentioned.
The violence experienced by these two people was fathomed using blunt objects and kicks. One of them had bruises, while the other had an open head wound.
The Chief of West Jakarta Police Resort, Chief Commissioner Hengki Haryadi, refused to answer our questions regarding this torture allegation in his precinct. Out of five calls made to him on Friday, July 5th, 2019, he responded only twice.
When we asked the question, he just replied, “Halo, halo, halo,” followed by a long line-dropped tone.
Questions also asked via WhatsApp text messaging. But none was responded.
The act of violence conducted during the investigation processes was deemed by the Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) as a procedural violation. Asfinawati, the Head of YLBHI, considered this act as a human rights violation.
“Violence cannot be permitted to be used as an investigation approach. That is torture,” Asfinawati explained.
Additionally, the police had violated the 2012 Regulation of the Head of the Republic of Indonesian National Police No. 14 concerning Management of Criminal Investigations
“Should there be any violent acts, including the Criminal Code, others are violating the 2012 Regulation of the Head of the Republic of Indonesia National Police No. 14 concerning Management of Criminal Investigations, and the Regulation of the Head of the Republic of Indonesia National Police concerning Human Rights,” she said.
During the Press Conference at the National Police Headquarter on Friday, July 5th, 2019, it was written that the number of suspects detained in West Jakarta Police Resort as per June 18th, 2019 were 113 suspects, 8 people are on the Police Report, 8 people are on the Letter of Investigation, and 16 people are on the Investigation Files.
Meanwhile, the Head of PR from West Jakarta Police Resort, M. Marbun, said that the continuation of their cases was still waiting for the P21.
“This is a multi-case. Based on the Law and Criminal Code, it is regulated that detention is 60 (sixty) days. So, it should be enough, presumably all examinations by the Public Prosecutor will be completed in less than 60 days,” he explained.