Mystery continues to shroud shooting of FPI members

Mystery continues to shroud shooting of FPI members

Chief of the Public Relations Division at the National Police Insp Gen. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono (second left) present at crime scene reconstruction related to the shooting of six Islamic Defenders Front in Karawang, West Java (ANTARA/ HO-Polri)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has disclosed its intention of seeking more details of each aspect of the police shooting of six guards of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Habib Rizieq Shihab.

As part of its inquiry into the case, the commission summoned Jakarta Police chief, Insp.Gen.Fadil Imran, and state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga's president director, Subakti Syukur, on Monday.

Komnas HAM and the Jakarta police chief have agreed to work on obtaining a detailed account of the fatal shooting during an encounter between FPI members and Jakarta Police officers last week, Komnas HAM chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik said.

"We are going to explore more detailed accounts of every aspect, including evidence. We have agreed on this," Damanik was quoted by ANTARA as saying in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Damanik also expressed appreciation for the cooperation and explanations provided by Insp.Gen. Imran and Syukur to the agency on Monday.

He also appealed to the people at large to wait for the completion of the human rights commission's investigation, and to not form their own assumptions in the case.

Meanwhile, Insp.Gen. Imran vowed to remain cooperative and transparent to make sure the human rights commission's probe is credible.

The Komnas HAM's team of investigators had earlier sought facts and accounts pertaining to the incident from the FPI, witnesses, victims' relatives, and community members.

They had also conducted a thorough crime-scene investigation and field observation as part of endeavors to uncover the fatal shooting that has caught the attention of both Indonesian and international media outlets.

The Komnas HAM set up the team to evaluate information developing in the public domain and acquire facts from parties over the incident soon after the Jakarta police chief publicly announced the deaths of six FPI members.

Choirul Anam, Komnas HAM commissioner for monitoring and investigation, noted in a written statement released on December 7, 2020 that the rights body had received several explanations from the FPI and was conducting an in-depth study on them.

"To strengthen efforts to facilitate the unveiling of facts pertaining to the incident, we are optimistic of all parties being cooperative and transparent. We also pin such hopes on the police," he said.

As part of the National Police's probe into the case, investigators had reconstructed the shooting at four locations (TKP) on the night of December 13, 2020.

During the crime-scene reconstruction, at least 58 scenarios were enacted, according to National Police spokesperson, Inspector General Prabowo Argo Yuwono.

Yuwono said he was also present at the crime-scene reconstruction, conducted by the Directorate of General Crimes of the National Police's Crime Investigation Department (Bareskrim), Jakarta Police Metro Jaya, and Karawang Police.

However, the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) had questioned the outcome of the National Police's reconstruction of the incident, citing several contradictions. For instance, it said, police claimed FPI members had assaulted officers, but the slain FPI members were found shot dead inside a car.

Six days before the crime-scene reconstruction, Jakarta Metropolitan Police chief, Inspector General Fadil Imran, had declared that on-duty police investigation officers had shot dead six guards of FPI leader Shihab for attacking them.

The incident took place at 00:30 a.m. local time on Monday (December 7, 2020) on the Jakarta-Cikampek KM 50 Toll Road, Imran informed.

At the time, the officers were probing information on a likely mobilization of masses for which Shihab was to be grilled by the Jakarta Police, he said.

The Jakarta Police had summoned Shihab for allegedly violating COVID-19 health protocols during his daughter's wedding that coincided with the maulid (which marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad), thereby leading to crowding.

"When officers of the Jakarta Metro Jaya Police followed vehicles suspected of carrying MRS (Muhammad Rizieq Shihab) followers, the officers' vehicle was intercepted and then attacked with firearms and sharp weapons," Imran informed.

The Jakarta Police chief confirmed that of the 10 attackers, six were killed in the shooting, while four fled.

He confirmed that no casualties or injuries were reported from the police side, through their vehicle suffered damage after it was struck by the vehicle carrying the FPI member, who opened fire.   

However, the FPI denied claims its members attacked police officers on the grounds that they were unarmed.

"FPI members do not have firearms. A shootout is impossible," Munarman, general secretary of FPI, stated at a press conference.

Asserting that the fatal shooting was an extrajudicial killing, Munarman urged that an independent fact-finding team involving Komnas HAM be formed to uncover the truth behind the incident. (INE)

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