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Minggu, Februari 03, 2013

Police Officers Involved in Cinta Manis Shooting Get Off With a Written Warning: Kontras

Six police officers who were suspects in a shooting at the Cinta Manis sugar plantation in South Sumatra last year, which left one teenager dead and three people injured, have been let off with a written warning as punishment, according to a human rights group.

The police officers — identified as Adj. Sr. Comr. Deni Darmapala, Comr. Awang Hariono, Comr. Riduan Simandjuntak, Comr. Barliansyah, Adj. Comr. Yuskar Effendi and Adj. Comr. Agus Selamat — were initially named as suspects in an internal police investigation following a clash between locals and police at the plantation in the Ogan Ilir district on July 27, which left 12-year-old Angga Bin Darmawan dead and three more injured from the Limbang Jaya village.

The sugar plantation there has been a source of tension since state-owned plantation company PTPN VII forcefully evicted 22 villages in the district to set it up in 1982. Rights activists say PTPN VII used security forces to pressure residents into giving up their farms, while failing to provide adequate compensation for the land.

According to a letter obtained by the Jakarta Globe from the South Sumatra Police to the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the six officers had already been in an ethics tribunal and had received a written warning. The letter stated that “the sanction was read on Nov. 7, 2012 and they [police officers] understood, accepted and did not complain.”

“This is the face of law enforcement within National Police,” Kontras' legal division head Sinung Karto said on Thursday. “They never thoroughly solved [the case] and it's hurting and disappointing. It's not in line with the spirit of National Police that claim to reforming and improving its service.”

Sinung said that the light sanction was not comparable with the seemingly serious initial efforts to sanction the perpetrators.

Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar, a National Police spokesman, said he was not aware of the sanction that had been handed down.

Around 500 people protested in front of the South Sumatra Police headquarters on Tuesday, outraged with the decision. More than 20 people were arrested during the demonstration including Anwar Sadar, the head of the South Sumatra chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

“The police are arrogant as they failed to see the cause of the demonstration,” Sinung said. “They demonstrated because [they were] disappointed of the light sanction for the police that shot [the victims].”

Boy said protesters should not cause a riot.

“If [they're] disappointed with the light sanction on the National Police officers accused of making a mistake, don't make a riot,” Boy said. “Do it in the best way. Just cover your mouth with plaster and write... 'don't punish police lightly.' If they're making trouble, they'll be charged.”


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