Indonesia Must Prepare a Monitoring Mechanism, to Balance the Detention Duration in the Anti-Terrorism Bill

The government and the House of Representatives reportedly have agreed on the duration of detention in the Anti-Terrorism Bill that would be in total 760 days, the detention duration is not part of the arrest duration that has been recently agreed to 21 days. In this closed-door discussion, the ICJR has previously called the Government to provide a strong basis on the reason to raise the duration of detention.

In ICJR’s calculation, if it is correct that the total detention duration up to the final court of appeal (Supreme Court) reaches 760 days, then this will be the law with the longest duration of detention ever known in Indonesia. On the other hand, this regulation is completely unbalanced with other rules contained in Indonesian regulations, such as the Criminal Procedure Law which is only 400 days. Not only that, this provision is different from what has been recommended by the government in the previous Terrorism Bill that is the total detention duration is 740 days.

For ICJR, the duration of detention in the Anti-Terrorism Bill is very long, considering the previous regulation which only 470 days in total of the detention up to the Supreme Court, it is proven that the Indonesian criminal justice system is still capable to effectively prosecute and legally process all of the terrorists, all of which were proven guilty by the court and held criminally responsible.

ICJR remains in a position to follow the maneuver in the Anti-Terrorism Law that requires the handling of Terrorism crime in Indonesia to be in line with criminal justice mechanism, thus it is necessary to prioritize the basic principles of fair trial and human rights, extending the duration of detention without a strong reasoning and with a weak monitoring mechanism, it will just more misrepresent the criminal justice situation in Indonesia.

Until now, Indonesia has no strong detention complaint mechanism, the only detention complaint mechanism is only on the pre-trial cases. But as it is known, pre-trial cases have always been administrative in nature, making it difficult to be used as an effective monitoring tool of law enforcement authorities.

In addition, Indonesia is also overshadowed by the potential for torture incidents. In the ICJR’s records, throughout 2016, 19 incidents of torture committed by law enforcers have fulfilled Article 1 of the Convention against Torture. Of the 19 incidents, 4 suspects died allegedly as a result of torture, noteworthy is, the majority of the torture incidents are occurred in the Police stations and detention centers, which means during the investigation process.

The core problem is because Indonesia does not yet have a comprehensive National Prevention Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, including the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), with purpose to create a mechanisms that could allow visits to the detention centers.

Although ICJR understands the difficulty faced when solving a well-organized terrorism case, Indonesia must remain to the commitment to be a country that upholds human rights and to reform the criminal justice issues. Therefore, it is necessary to reconsider the duration of detention, or at least, to create a stronger monitoring mechanism and to enable a comprehensive National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture.

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