Dozen Brimob personnel torture people during May rioting: Amnesty

Dozen Brimob personnel torture people during May rioting: Amnesty

Amnesty International Indonesia's researcher Papang Hidayat (ANTARA/Dyah Dwi)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Amnesty International Indonesia divulged here, Tuesday, that a dozen personnel of the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) allegedly committed physical violence against demonstrators and people they arrested in Kampung Bali, Central Jakarta, during May's post-election rioting.

Papang Hidayat, the Amnesty International Indonesia researcher, informed journalists that his team was deployed in Kampung Bali (Bali Village) to investigate and corroborate the truth behind a video showing Brimob personnel torturing people. The video had gone viral on May 23, 2019.

"We identify four victims in Kampung Bali in the act of violence that took place there at around 5:30 a.m. local time," he remarked, adding that during that time, the Brimob personnel swept the area and ordered a worker of a parking area to open the parking lot's locked gate on May 23, 2019.

Citing the confession of witnesses, Papang Hidayat remarked that several people hurled stones at the anti-riot police officers from within the parking area. However, the Brimob personnel did not merely arrest and torture those pelting stones at them but also the local residents who were outside their houses.

Those falling victim to the Brimob personnel's acts of physical violence sustained head injuries and bruises, he remarked.

"The Brimob personnel cannot differentiate the rioters from those who are not. This physical violence did not solely happen in Kampung Bali," he remarked while showing videos revealing the anti-riot police officers' acts of violence against the detained demonstrators despite having surrendered themselves.

The Amnesty International Indonesia volunteers had verified the metadata and validity of those videos along with interviewing several witnesses, he noted.

The Brimob personnel were also seen in a video torturing people that they had arrested on Agus Salim Road in Central Jakarta though those detained did not fight against the on-duty police.

The post-election rioting erupted after the General Elections Commission (KPU) officially declared the final results of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections on May 21, 2019, confirming the victory of the Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-Ma'ruf Amin pair.

The police reported the deaths of nine people in the rioting.

In response to this deadly rioting, Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization after Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), called on the government to instruct security personnel to not commit violent acts against those protesting against the recent election results that had resulted in fatalities.

The acts of violence not only run counter to humanity and the state ideology Pancasila's second principle but also had the potential to tarnish the image of the government and law enforcers, Muhammadiyah Chairman Buya Anwar Abbas remarked in a press statement that ANTARA received on May 22, 2019.

The demonstrators voiced their disapproval, as they believed massive fraud had been committed during the presidential elections whose official announcement was made at the KPU's plenary session on early Tuesday (May 21).

Abbas cautioned that if security personnel were to continue to adopt repressive and brutal measures against demonstrators, Indonesia's stability and security would be at stake.