KONTRAS: Torture Increased Drastically! A Report on the Practice of Torture in Indonesia

http://www.kontras.org/eng/index.php?hal=siaran_pers&id=160

PRESS RELEASE:

KONTRAS
Torture Increased Drastically!
A Report on the Practice of Torture in Indonesia
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2012

Commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (June 26), the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) released its annual report entitled, “Torture Increased Drastically!” This report is excerpted from the various incidents of torture that have raised the public attention (both nationally and internationally) from July 2011 to June 2012, particularly the elaboration of numerous reports on complaints of torture that were directly handled by KontraS. This report is KontraS evaluation of the situation of torture that continues to use the assessment framework used by the Committee against Torture and the mechanisms under the UN Human Rights Council (either by the Special Rapporteur Against Torture as well as through the Second Cycle of Universal Periodic Review session on May 23 2012).

Contrast notes that there are numerous state policies that facilitate the practice of torture. Although in fact, the State should be able to accommodate the policies preventing or reducing the occurrence of torture. These issues include:

– The absence of criminalization of crimes of torture and punishment for the perpetrators because there is a revision of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code has been entered in the program even though the national legislation (Prolegnas) 2010-2014

– Continue maintenance of the death penalty policy. Abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia should be done with the goal of doing a moratorium on executions that had been imposed de facto in the last 4 years. However, in the last year there were six new death row decided by the court
– Policy caning in Aceh. Caning is a form of cruel punishment (corporal punishment) is not in accordance with the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In the period June 2011-June 2012 there were 47 people sentenced to caning in Aceh.

KontraS notes several state policies that facilitate the practice of torture. Although in fact, the State should also be able to accommodate the policies that should prevent or reduce the occurrence of torture. These issues include:

– The absence of criminalization of crimes of torture and punishment for the perpetrators due to the absence of a revision of the Criminal Code and Penal Code, despite both codes having been included within the national legislation program (Prolegnas) 2010-2014

– The maintenance of the death penalty policy. Abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia should be done with the goal of doing a moratorium on executions that had been imposed de facto in the last 4 years. However, within the last year there were six new death rows decided by the court.

– Policy caning in Aceh. Caning is a form of cruel punishment (corporal punishment) and is not in accordance with the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Within the period June 2011-June 2012 there were 47 people sentenced to caning in Aceh.

– Still relying on internal accountability mechanisms to prosecute acts of torture. The practice of torture is still an issue of impunity because the punishment mechanism is still very dependent on the internal mechanism, both within the Military and the Police that as a cause has negated the deterrent effect. It is therefore important to ensure the existence of various state institutions that have the authority to conduct an independent investigation (independent external oversight body) against the allegations of torture and begin to identify the names of the perpetrators held responsible.

– Ratification of the State Intelligence Law is deemed potential to open room for the use of torture, particulatly Law on National Intelligence No.17/2011. This Act directly authorizes a special form of extracting information to the intelligence apparatus. Extracting information will be applied to the targets associated with the interests and activities that threaten national security, especially terrorism and separatism, which is known widely growing in several regions in Indonesia.

Based on KontraS’s monitoring, for the period of July 2011 – June 2012, there has been a tremendous surge in allegations of torture. In the period July 2010 – June 2011, KontraS noted that there were 28 events alleged torture with a number of victims of 49 people, while during the period of July 2011 – June 2012 there were 86 allegations of torture with the number of cases of 243 victims. Meanwhile, for the categories of alleged perpetrators of this period a number of police officers were alleged for 14 cases, 60 cases by military officers and prison guards as much as 12 cases. For this period, there is a region where the alleged torture occurred relatively large that is the area of ​​Papua. For the past year, the security situation and the intensity of violence in Papua are very problematic.

Table of Torture
June 2010-July 2011 and June 2011-July 2012
Perpetrator
Year 2011
Year 2012
Victims
Cases
Victims
Cases
Police
31
21
118
60
Military
18
7
64
14
Warden
61
12
49
28
243
86

From the table above, several hypotheses that can be taken are: First, there has been a number of victims and the alleged use of torture that is so prominent in Papua when compared with other regions. There are 11 torture cases and 98 victims in Papua. The number of allegations of torture in Papua is strongly correlated with the warming of the political situation and the increasing intensity of violence in general in there for the past year. The victims generally are indigenous Papuans and consider them to be victims of false arrest and arbitrary detention by security forces. This reinforces the stigmatization and discrimination against people of Papua up to the criminalization of them.

Second, the practice of torture generally occurs in situations where the victims were so helpless against the perpetrators; common situation happens where the detention rooms are closed. The situation becomes worse when the victim is merely an ordinary citizen, who was suspected of a crime- representing the structure of the lower class. This also occurs in Indonesia where most of the alleged victims of torture are criminal suspects or convicts who came from the laity group (the enemy of public opinion such as terrorists, drug dealers, separatist, and others) and is often not accompanied by a legal representative. Until now, KontraS monitoring report has not found the alleged practice of torture against perpetrators of corruption that generally are state officials or wealthy businessmen.

This situation confirms the importance of the immediate need to stop the acts of torture as well as create rules that can prevent the occurrence of torture. Based on the above mentioned points, KontraS recommends that:

– The Government and the Parliament should speed up the discussion of the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, or prepare a separate bill against Torture. It is intended to answer the urgent need for regulation to efforts to criminalize acts of torture;
– Relevant state institutions such as the Military, Police, and Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (which oversees the prison system and prisoners in Indonesia) to ensure the maximum punishment to the offender to provide a deterrent effect and implement a mechanism for internally vetting for officials, officers, or officers who conduct, give commands, or fail to prevent the practice of torture;

– State institution which has a mandate to monitor or control functions that are independent (independent external oversight bodies), such as the National Human Rights Commission, Ombudsman, or Kompolnas should also apply a vetting mechanism to narrow the room of action for perpetrators of torture;

– The Government should be able to stop the practice of torture based on the pattern of stigmatization and discrimination that are occurring in Papua, given the sharp rise of torture in the region that is able to aggravate the problematic situation in Papua;

– The Government and Parliament to take immediate ratification of the Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture;

– Government and Parliament to review the various state policies that facilitate the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Jakarta, 22 June 2012
Working Committee,

Indria Fernida Papang Hidayat
Deputy Coordinator I Head of the Research Bureau
(+62816.146.6341) (+62812.959.8680)
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