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Commission reports civilian torture cases

Government officials must make sure torture never happens

Commission reports civilian torture cases
Haris Azhar (left) of KontraS speaks to the media at a press conference on June 25 in Jakarta
Konradus Epa, Jakarta

June 27, 2011

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The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) has identified dozens of cases of torture of civilians by the military and police in a recent report issued to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. “The results of our research conducted from July 2010 to June 2011 reveals 31 cases of torture by police and 18 cases of torture by the military,” Haris Azhar, coordinator of KontraS, said during a press conference on June 25 to launch of the report. Repeated hitting, immersion in water and gun-shot wounds were among the forms of torture cited in the report, with civilian victims coming from East Nusa Tenggara, Jakarta, Maluku and Papua. “We observe that such torture still happens because it is difficult [for us] to monitor the acts. Also, in general, such torture happens in military and police offices,” he said. Haris Azhar urged the government, and particularly the minister of law and human rights, should draft a bill to prohibit the use of torture. Papang Hidayat, who heads the research bureau at KontraS, said that reports from victims of torture remained unprocessed. Impunity and ignorance was the typical response from government officials and law enforcement officers. “Torture in Indonesia has become a characterized crime with no clear punishment. No such case can be handled with justice by giving a proper sentence to perpetrators.” He called on the government to implement the recommendation of the Committee Against Torture as a follow-up to the special rapporteur on torture, Manfred Nowak, in 2007 as well as the 2008 Periodical Universal Report on Human Rights. Both recommendations, he said, could become the foundation for Indonesia to be a member of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council and to uphold justice and human rights. Related Reports: Police ‘must stay independent’ ( Police ‘commit most rights violations’ (
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