ICJR: Stop Extra Judicial Killing by Police!

The use of firearm by Indonesian police should be the last resort in order to incapacitate suspects. Police officers may use the firearm only when they have no reasonable alternative measure to stop the suspects committing a crime or to prevent fleeing suspects. Such action should also entail immediate life-threatening circumstances faced by the police or citizens. Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) requests for thorough investigation towards the shooting of 11 suspects who were ended up dying without trial.

Operasi Wilayah Mandiri” carried out by Polda Metro Jaya (Jakarta Police Department) from 3 July to 12 July 2018 led to the death of 11 suspects, 41 suspects shot in leg, and 52 suspects under a strong measured treatment. The head of public relation affairs of Polda Metro Jaya, Kombes Argo Yuwono, argued that the shooting was necessary as the accused tried to fight the police. However, the shooting of 11 suspects to death cannot be justified for any reasons, ICJR insisted.

Extra judicial killing or the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the any judicial proceeding or legal process in such case is a serious violation of criminal procedure law. Any persons who were accused of committing a crime have a right to be brought before trial and have a right to fair trial in order to examine whether the allegation towards them is proven. Those rights obviously cannot be fulfilled where the accused are killed before the trial can be commenced. The charge againts them shall be drop since the defendants passed away.

Nonetheless, police officers in principle may use firearm in some circumstances aiming for incapacitating offenders. The Indonesian Chief of National Police Regulation (Perkapolri) Number 1 enacted in 2009 (Perkap 1/2009) has outlined the list of circumtances where the police officers may use the firearm as well as the principles they should uphold in undertaking the shooting. According to the article 5 point (1) Perkapolri 1/2009, before they decide to use firearm, cops should take preliminary actions such as verbal caution, blunt weapons, chemical weapons (lachrymator), or chili/pepper spray. After such actions have been taken, police officers may use firearm in so far to cease the suspects committing a crime and it may be limited only on the life-threatening circumstances. In other words, police officers make use of firearm as the last resort; It is intended to incapacitate but not to kill the suspects. Police officers may use the firearm only when they have no reasonable alternative measure to stop the suspects committing a crime or to prevent fleeing suspects. Such action should also entail immediate life-threatening circumstances faced by the police or citizens.

With regards to the arguments explained above, ICJR then requests for thorough investigation towards the shooting by police officers particularly leading to the death of 11 suspects without being tried to examine whether they are guilty or not. Thus, ICJR urges the Headquarters of the Indonesian National Police, National Commission of Human Rights of Indonesia, and Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia to seriously investigate the shooting of police officers killing 11 accused. ICJR also emphasizes that any persons responsible for the shooting shall be investigated appropriately according to the law and as for the victims or their family, suitable compensation should be granted.

We understand that not everyone has the opportunity to become a supporter of the ICJR. However, should you share a common vision with us, you can be part of our mission to ensure that Indonesia will have a fair, accountable and transparent legal system for all its citizens, without any distinction of social status, political views, skin color, gender, origin, sexual orientation and nationality.

As a little as IDR 15.000 (USD 1.09), you can be part of our mission and support ICJR to keep working to ensure the Indonesian legal system becomes more just, transparent and accountable.

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