Tag Archives: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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



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
Year 2011
Year 2012

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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Rights activist condemns police for preventing activities by KNPB

JUBI, 5 June 2012

The independent human rights activist, Sebby Sambom, said that it was deeply regrettable that the police force in Papua had used acts of brutality to prevent the KNPB, the National Committee for West Papua, from conducting an action on Monday 4 June. As a result of the police actions, one life was lost and others were injured,  including KNPB members and members of  the security forces.

He said in a brief message to JUBI that the security apparatus had acted against the law and violated freedom of expression which is guaranteed according to Article 19, para (2) of the International Covenant  on Civil and Political Rights. Indonesia ratified the Covenant  under Law 9/1998.

Sebby accused the police for not respecting basic human rights which has resulted in the serious crisis situation now prevailing in Papua. ‘This is a humanitarian crisis  by a colonial government  which refuses to respect universal human rights,’ he said.

‘The fact is,’ said this former political prisoner, ‘that colonial powers never respect the situation of its colonised people.’

He said that the problems in Papua can only be resolved  if there is intervention by the international community.

‘We call  for the full attention and intervention of the international community, in particular, the United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council

[Translated by TAPOL]

Amnesty: Investigate military attacks on villagers in Wamena, Papua

8 June 2012
Index: ASA 21/020/2012
Indonesia: Investigate military attacks on villagers in Wamena, Papua

The Indonesian authorities must ensure a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into reports of unnecessary and excessive use of force including firearms by security forces in Wamena, Papua province.

In the afternoon of 6 June 2012, two soldiers on motorcycles reportedly ran over and injured a 3 year-old child playing by the side of the road in the village of Honelama in Wamena. Villagers who witnessed the incident chased the soldiers and stabbed one to death and injured the other.

In retaliation, two trucks of soldiers from army battalion Yonif 756/Wamena arrived at Honelama village not long after and reportedly opened fire arbitrarily on the village killing one person, Elinus Yoman. According to reliable local sources, soldiers also stabbed around a dozen people with their bayonets. In addition, soldiers reportedly burned down dozens of homes, buildings and vehicles during the attack. Many of the villagers have fled the area and are afraid to return to their homes.

Amnesty International acknowledges the difficulties faced by security forces in Indonesia, especially when confronted with violence. Persons suspected of committing violent crimes, including against members of security forces, must be brought to justice. However, suspects must be identified individually for arrest and prosecution in accordance with the law – there is no place for collective punishment and random, vindictive violence.

The power of law enforcement officials to use force is restricted by relevant international human rights law and standards, the basis of which is the need to respect and protect the right to life. This right is provided for in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party, which also provides that this right must never be derogated from, including in times of emergency. The right to life is also provided for in the Indonesian Constitution.

If the investigations find that the security forces committed unlawful killings or used force unnecessarily or excessively, then those responsible, including persons with command responsibility, must be prosecuted in civilian courts in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.  Victims must be provided with reparations.

Credible reports of human rights violations committed by the security forces continue to emerge in the provinces of Papua and West Papua, including torture and other ill-treatment, unnecessary and excessive use of force, including firearms, and unlawful killings.

Despite a public commitment made by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in February 2012 that cases of human rights violations would be “legally processed and perpetrators penalized”, investigations into reports of abuses by security forces are rare and only a few perpetrators have been brought to justice.

The lack of accountability is exacerbated by the failure to revise the Law on Military Tribunals (Law No. 31/1997). Military personnel charged with human right offences are tried in military courts. Amnesty International has expressed concerned about the lack of independence and impartiality of these trials.

Amnesty International urges the Indonesian government to address the culture of impunity in Papua by taking the necessary steps to ensure that all security forces responsible for human rights violations are held accountable. The government must also immediately revise the Law on Military Tribunals so that military personnel suspected of offences involving human rights violations can be investigated and tried in an independent civilian judicial system and victims and witnesses provided with adequate protection.

Forkorus’ eye problems not properly dealt with

JUBI, 18 April, 2012
Forkorus Yaboisembut, one of five Papuan activists who was recently sentenced to three years for his participation in the Papuan People’s Congress held last October, is now known to be suffering from eye problems.This was stated by Olga Hamadi, a member of the team of lawyers who have been defending Forkorus and his four co-defendants.

‘Forkorus complained about his eye problems  when we paid him a visit last week,’ said Olga Hamadi, and added that he was not getting proper treatment for the problem. ‘I was taken to the polyclinic but the treatment I had there was not satisfactory,’ Forkorus told his lawyer.

The Dewan Adat Papua – Papuan Customary Council of which Forkorus is the chairperson said that they too have reported the problem to the authorities at the Abepura Prison where Forkorus is being held. Forkorus has also sent a letter about the problem to  the High Court in Jayapura.’ His lawyer said that Forkorus had asked for their help to submit his letter to the High Court.

According to Olga Hamadi, the eye problem is not too severe and Forkorus is otherwise in good health.

Sentences of Forkorus and colleagues lengthened by sixty days

JUBI, 16 April 2012
Gustav Kawer, a member of the defence team of Forkorus and his co-defendants, has confirmed that the sentences of his clients have been lengthened for the second time.The reason for the second lengthening was that the documents relating to the case  had not been sent  by the District Court to the High Court in Jayapura.Following the first addittion of thirty days, the material had not yet been examined, resulting in another thirty days been added to the sentences.

Olga Hamadi, another member of the defence team, confirmed that the sentences had been lengthened, saying that the High Court in Jayapura had issued a statement to the effect that the sentences of the five men, Forkorus Yaboisembut, Edison Waromi, Selpius Bobii, Dominikus Surabet and Agust Kraar had been lengthened.

Meanwhile, Gustaf Kawer said that they would be holding a press conference with regard to their appeal against the sentences. This will take place on Wednesday  this week,’ he said.

He said that the men were  put on trial following the Third Papuan People’s Congress which was held last October because events during that Congress were deemed to be an act of treason.