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Protests after suspects die in jail

Four shot in their sleep after alleged brawl with soldier

Protests after suspects die in jail
Protesters rally in Jakarta against the killings (Photo Siktus Harson) reporter, Jakarta

March 25, 2013

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At least 500 people gathered in Jakarta on Sunday to demand an official inquiry into the deaths of four prisoners, allegedly killed by soldiers on Saturday at a jail in Yogyakarta province.

Gameliel Riwu, Adrianus Galaja, Hendrik Sahetapi and Yohanes Manbait, all from East Nusa Tenggara province, were shot dead in Cebongan prison early on Saturday while they were sleeping.

They had been linked to the death of a member of Kopassus – a special unit of the Indonesian army - in a bar fight in Yogyakarta last Tuesday.

“We urge law enforcers to immediately investigate this incident and bring the assassins to court. Don’t let the law of the jungle continue in this country,” said rally coordinator Yoyarib Mau.

Demonstrators carried a mock coffin with names of the victims on it around Hotel Indonesia Square, to symbolize what they said was their deep shock over the killing.

"I am here not because the victims are from East Nusa Tenggara. I am here because this is a crime against humanity, against civilians,” Sarah Leri Mboeik, a congress member representing East Nusa Tenggara, told the crowd.

According to media reports, 17 masked gunmen entered Cebongan prison on Saturday morning and forced prison guards to take them to the detainees’ cell, where the four suspects were shot dead.

Media speculation into the killings immediately pointed to the involvement of the military.

Hendardi (who goes by one name only,) chairman of the Setara Institute rights group stressed on Monday that an into the murders must be independent.

“Based on previous cases, it is not adequate to just investigate the brutality of soldiers by an internal investigation team,” he said.

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