News / Asia

Indonesian Police Accused of Systematic Torture of Prisoners

Raimundo Moreira, 28, displays scars he said he received from two days of beatings and torture by Indonesian special forces in Dili. (File)
Raimundo Moreira, 28, displays scars he said he received from two days of beatings and torture by Indonesian special forces in Dili. (File)

A report by a Jakarta legal aid group says Indonesian police and prison officials routinely and systematically torture prisoners. The report is based on extensive interviews with prisoners, police, judges and human rights activists.

Restaria Hutabarat, with the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, spent the past year leading an investigation into the prevalence of torture in prisons in four major Indonesian cities. What she found was that beatings, intimidation and even rape are so commonplace that they are considered the norm.

"We concluded that torture is systematic and integrated within the criminal justice system because every respondent that we surveyed said that they experienced at least one form of torture through the criminal justice system," Hutabarat stated.

The finding was based on interviews with over 1,000 suspects and prison inmates as well as responses from 400 police officers, prosecutors, judges, wardens and rights activists.

Hutabarat says police for the most part are the perpetrators of torture, often to obtain confessions. But she says prosecutors and judges are complacent in either encouraging or condoning the use of force in interrogations.

Hutabarat says police have too much authority over suspects and too little accountability. In some cases police can detain suspects up to 60 days before charging them. And she says, in Indonesia torture committed by police is not considered a crime, and that needs to change.

"The government should define torture as a crime in Indonesia, according to the law," she said. "There must be the existing law defined by the government to criminalize the perpetrators of torture. That is the first and most urgent step, should be done."

Indonesia, a nation of 237 million people, emerged from decades of dictatorship in 1998. Though the country has become a democracy, it is still criticized for having a weak legal system.

There also have been reports of soldiers torturing suspected separatists, and the army says it has court-martialed several suspects.

The National Police spokesman says the agency will study the report and that any officers who abuse civilians should face sanctions.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid