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Komnas HAM accomplishes mission to uncover FPI shooting case

Komnas HAM accomplishes mission to uncover FPI shooting case

Police officers raid FPI Headquarters in Petamburan III, Central Jakarta, on Dec 30, 2020. (ANTARA/ Abdu Faisal)

All obtained during the police investigation must later get proven during court proceedings
The National Commission on Human Rights' (Komnas HAM's) team of investigators concluded a probe into the fatal shooting of six FPI members that has attracted public and media attention in Indonesia and abroad.

The commission's investigators, headed by Choirul Anam, accomplished their noble mission after having made all-out efforts for a period of some 30 days since December 7, 2020.

At a press conference held in Jakarta on January 8, 2021, Anam presented his team's reported investigation results in addition to several recommendations issued by the commission that are expected to be followed up by the related law enforcement agency.

Komnas HAM, for instance, recommended a transparent trial at a criminal court over six Islam Defenders Front (FPI) members' recent fatal shooting since the deaths of four of them were categorized as human rights violations.

Hence, Anam expressed strong belief that the fatal shooting case cannot be handled internally and instead must be resolved through a law enforcement mechanism at a criminal court.

The commission revealed that the deaths of four of the six slain guards of the FPI leader, Habib Rizieq Shihab, in an encounter at KM 50 of the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road on December 7, 2020, constituted a violation of human rights.

Anam contended that the fatal shooting of the four FPI members were considered as human rights violations since the on-duty police officers had allegedly gunned them down without any endeavor made to prevent more fatalities.

Two other slain FPI members died as a result of a sideswipe collision between their car and the police vehicle on the road and an exchange of fire between them and the cops.

Anam stated that Komnas HAM had identified executors of the slain FPI members while adding that the commission had recommended a comprehensive investigation to be conducted over the FPI members' alleged possession of handguns.

The commission further concluded that 18 gunshot wounds were found on the bodies of the FPI members -- Muhammad Reza (20), Muhammad Suci Khadavi (21), Faiz Ahmad Syukur (22), Lutfi Hakim (25), Ahmad Sofiyan (26), and Andi Oktiawan (33).

On the day of the incident, they were involved in securing a motorcade of the group's top leader, Habib Rizieq Shihab, from the Sentul area in Bogor District.

The commission's team of investigators also found facts collected from witnesses' accounts and outcomes of their analysis on CCTV cameras and recorded conversations that several cars had tailed Shihab's motorcade, starting from Sentul.

Two of the cars, identified as a black Avanza van, with registration license plate of B-1739-PWQ, and a silver Avanza van, with registration license plate of B-1278-KJD, were spotted actively tailing the FPI leader's motorcade.

With the Jakarta Metropolitan Police dismissing claims that the two vans belonged to them, Komnas HAM recommended that the law enforcement agency conduct a thorough probe into matters related to the two cars.

In response to Komnas HAM's reported investigation results, Indonesia's national police lauded the outcomes and recommendations that the human rights commission had publicly announced.

The national police still awaits the commission's official letter, National Police spokesperson Insp. Gen. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono stated.

Yuwono remarked that in conducting a probe into a case, the police investigators had relied on the accounts of witnesses and suspects, as well as substantial pieces of evidence and directives.

"All obtained during the police investigation must later get proven during court proceedings," he emphasized.

Meanwhile, some 10 human rights watchdogs grouped in a civil society alliance highlighted the need for the Indonesian police to demonstrate accountability in the deaths of these six slain FPI members.

Police officers must meet the human rights standards in every action they take, though it is for law enforcement purposes, Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti remarked.

Kontras, along with nine other human rights defenders in Indonesia, responded to the outcomes of Komnas HAM's probe into the recent fatal shooting of six FPI members in a press statement on Friday.

Nine other members of the civil society alliance were the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial), Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Setara Institute, PIL-Net Indonesia, Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers), and the Institute for Democracy and Security (IDeKa).

Maulidiyanti affirmed that in keeping with their duty to apply human rights standards, every action taken by the cops must align with the outlined laws and regulations as well as the police's internal standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The actions taken must also be "measurable" and "accountable", she asserted, adding that the fatal shooting case, FPI members' alleged possession of handguns, and a series of events that triggered the incident must soon be brought to light.

According to the commission's investigation results, two of the six FPI members were shot dead inside their Chevrolet Spin van after reportedly getting involved in a gunfight with the on-duty Jakarta metropolitan police officers.

Four others were gunned down inside the police's Daihatsu Xenia van after KM 50 of the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road in the early morning of December 7, 2020.

For PBHI Secretary General Julius Ibrani, the reported results of Komnas HAM's investigation could serve as a common reference for taking further legal actions.

To this end, Ibrani appealed to the government and police to follow up each of the recommendations that the human rights commission had issued based on its investigation results in a transparent and accountable manner.

Concrete measures undertaken to follow up on Komnas HAM's recommendations do not merely pertain to law enforcement but also to the police's internal SOPs to ensure that human rights standards are applied in the police’s works, he affirmed.

To follow up on the case in the criminal court involving those responsible for the unlawful killing of four of the six FPI members, Indonesia's Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LPSK) has offered protection to those who bore witness to the incident or had some kind of information on it.

"The LPSK is ready to help uncover the case by protecting several key witnesses to enable them to convey significant accounts of the incident that has attracted public attention," the agency's deputy chief, Edwin Partogi Pasaribu, stated.

Outcomes of the Komnas HAM's probe into this fatal shooting case, publicly announced on Friday, has led to a possibility that the fatal shooting case could be resolved at court, he stated.

The court settlement will enlighten the public on those responsible for the deaths of the FPI members, including four deaths that Komnas HAM categorized as acts of "unlawful killing", he remarked.

Speaking in connection with the commission's reported investigation results, several witnesses might be holding significant information on the incident, Pasaribu noted.

During their investigation process, the commission's team of investigators had also obtained substantial accounts of the incident from witnesses in the areas of Sentul, the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road KM 50's rest area, and Karawang.

In the wake of this reality, the LPSK will soon coordinate with the human rights commission to secure several recommended witnesses whose safety should be ensured, he stated.

Komnas HAM has completed its work in an endeavor to reveal the long-awaited truth of the FPI members' deaths. The Indonesian public and community of nations now await the efforts of Indonesia's other law enforcement agencies to solve the puzzle.
Related news: Alliance presses for police accountability in deaths of FPI members

Related news: Komnas HAM's investigation results draw praises from the police


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