Dear Mr. Ifdhal Kasim,
Name of victims: Yusli (male, 23-year old)
Names of alleged perpetrators: Four Cisauk sub-district police officers and Mr. Kemidjo, the chief of Cisauk sub-district police station
Date of incident: 26 December 2011
Place of incident: The research centre for science and technology (Puspiptek) area, Tangerang
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the death of Yusli, a 23-year old man, while in police custody on 26 December 2011. According to the information from the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH Jakarta), several injuries were found on Yusli's dead body. His family reported that his head looked like it was bleeding and claw marks were found on his right chest. A shot wound was also found on his left chest. Moreover, the family found lacerations on his face as well as several bruises on his forehead, chin, hands and body.
I was informed that, on 26 December 2011, Yusli was at his house when three men carrying long rifles came and took him away in a car driven by another man. Having no idea where Yusli was taken, his family visited several police stations in order to find him. Yet these attempts turned out to be pointless.
The family was later told by Mr. Jurjani, the community head of Mekarsari sub-district, that Yusli had died and his body was at the Kramat Jati hospital. Mr. Jurjani gave no further explanation regarding Yusli's death, but he did give the family Rp 2.000.000,00 (about USD 222) 'to show his sympathy'. He also asked the family to sign a blank letter which allegedly would be used for a statement saying that the family would not take any actions regarding this matter. The family refused to sign however. Later, at Yusli's funeral, the family was also offered Rp 3.000.000,00 (approximately USD 333) from a man who said the money was to show sympathy from Kemidjo, the chief of Cisauk sub-district police station. The same man also asked the family if they have received some money from Mr. Jurjani.
When the family was visiting Kramat Jati hospital where Yusli's body was kept, they met a man who claimed to be a police officer of the Cisauk sub-district police station. The man told the family that it was his friends and the chief of the Cisauk sub-district police, Kemidjo, who arrested Yusli. He also informed them that Yusli was trying to escape so the police had to shoot him. The family did not believe this story and reported the case to the policeâ€™s Division of Profession and Security (Propam) which later informed them that the case is being investigated.
However, I would like to question the investigation process as it was reported by Yusli's family as 'unusual'. I received the information that the investigators for this case are from the economy division, who usually deal with business crime. I believe it is essential to ensure that the police officers appointed in this case are qualified and well trained so that the investigation process can run effectively. I was also told that the police did not take any further action to Yusli's father-in-law saying that he could identify one of the kidnappers as a member of the Cisauk sub-district police. As of today, the family is still ignorant to the reasons for Yusli's arrest, as they never received any copy of the arrest warrant. They only heard in the media that Yusli was charged due to motorcycle theft. Yet according to the family, Yusli had been previously convicted for such crime and served his sentence. He was released on 18 August 2011.
I request you to ensure that Yusli's family gets a proper explanation regarding Yusli's arrest. I believe you are aware that according to article 18 paragraph (3) of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code, the family of an arrested person should be provided a copy of the arrest warrant. It is shameful that even after his death Yusli's family still does not know why he was arrested.
I further would like to remind you that Indonesia has the responsibility over the physical integrity as well as the welfare of any persons held in police custody. Should anything happen to them, it is the obligation of the government to prove that it has taken all necessary measures to protect the life of arrested and detained persons. Without this, it amounts to the violation of the right to life as enshrined in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Indonesia is a state party. Furthermore, article 6 obliges the government to ensure that any unusual death in custody should be investigated independently, effectively and promptly.
The information that the police shot Yusli as he was trying to escape from police custody is questionable. Even if this were true, I am aware that the police are not supposed to use firearms to prevent his escape. The Head of Indonesian Police Regulation No. 1 Year 2009 regarding The Use of Force classifies an attempt to escape from the police as an 'active conduct' which should be responded only with empty-handed force and not with shooting live ammunition.
In this regard, I would like to ask you as the relevant authorities in Indonesia to ensure that a criminal investigation into Yusli's death is conducted independently, effectively and promptly. Should the persons allegedly responsible for his death be convicted, they must be punished adequately in accordance with the law. The investigation should be focused not only on Yusli's death, but also on corruption regarding the reports saying the police had given money to the family. I would also like to call for Yusli's family to be given adequate compensation and, equally important, the truth regarding what actually happened to Yusli.
William Nicholas Gomes
William Nicholas Gomes
Journalist & Human Rights Activist
80/ B Bramon Chiron, Saydabad,
Cell: +88 019 7 444 0 666
E-mail:William [at] williamgomes.org,editorbd[at]gmail.com
Face book: www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes
Web site :www.williamgomes.org
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