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Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Briefing 138 / Asia

Indonesia: Pembangkangan Terhadap Negara

I. Ringkasan ikhtisar

Saat ini terdapat institusi-institusi di daerah yang berani membangkang pengadilan tertinggi di Indonesia setelah mereka terberdayakan oleh desentralisasi. Hal ini telah mengurangi kewibawaan otoritas kehakiman dan membuat konflik lokal terus memburuk. Bupati, walikota, komisi pemilihan umum dan dewan di daerah menyadari bahwa ternyata ketidakpatuhan terhadap keputusan pengadilan yang terkait dengan urusan pemilu atau agama tidak beresiko sehingga mereka cenderung memilih untuk mengikuti kemauan konstituen dan pressure groups setempat. Kepemimpinan tegas dari presiden seharusnya dapat mengubah hal ini, namun yang ada adalah sebaliknya yaitu: tanggapan yang lambat dan tidak efektif dari Jakarta yang hanya memperluas ruang bagi pembangkangan. Apabila daerah menjadi terlalu percaya diri dengan kewenangan barunya dan pemerintah pusat terus menanggapi hal ini dengan lemah, kurangnya komitmen untuk menjunjung hukum akan membuka celah untuk konflik seiring dengan naiknya suhu politik menjelang pemilihan presiden 2014.

Masalah pembangkangan pejabat daerah terhadap pengadilan merupakan akibat langsung dari dua kebijakan yang diambil oleh Indonesia dalam proses demokratisasi paska reformasi 1998. Yang pertama adalah kebijakan desentralisasi tahun 1999 yang memberi otonomi politik dan fiskal kepada pemerintah kabupaten dan kota. Yang kedua yaitu diperkenalkannya pemilu kepala daerah (pemilu kada) secara langsung di tahun 2005, termasuk untuk posisi bupati dan walikota. Dua langkah ini penting bagi konsolidasi demokrasi di Indonesia, tapi kombinasinya telah menciptakan sebuah lapisan pejabat daerah yang sangat berkuasa yang tidak lagi merasa terikat dengan pusat atau merasa wajib mematuhi keputusan dari dua lembaga peradilan tertinggi di Indonesia.

Mahkamah Agung (MA) adalah lembaga peradilan yang memegang keputusan terakhir terhadap kasus-kasus perdata dan pidana. MA juga mengadili pada tingkat kasasi putusan yang diberikan oleh Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negara, yang melayani gugatan terhadap keputusan pejabat atau institusi negara. Mahkamah Konstitusi (MK) sejak tahun 2008 telah menjadi satu-satunya juru adil yang memutus sengketa hasil pemilihan umum. Kedudukan MA dan MK adalah sederajat; putusan MA dan MK bersifat final dan mengikat. Tapi ada hal yang kurang terkait keputusan kedua lembaga ini yaitu bagaimana putusan tersebut harus dieksekusi atau apa hukumannya apabila tidak dipatuhi.

Tiga kasus menggambarkan masalah yang timbul dari kekurangan tersebut. Pada bulan Juli 2010, Mahkamah Konstitusi mendiskualifikasi pemenang pemilu bupati Kotawaringin Barat dengan tuduhan politik uang, dan menetapkan petahana yang kalah sebagai pemenang sehingga dapat memangku masa jabatan untuk kedua kalinya. Putusan ini mungkin patut dipertanyakan, tapi demi kepentingan penegakan otoritas peradilan, putusan tersebut seharusnya segera dieksekusi. Tapi yang terjadi adalah dewan di kabupaten melihat putusan MK tersebut sebagai campur tangan Jakarta dalam pemilihan daerah sehingga menolak untuk mematuhinya. Dua tahun kemudian, bupati yang dimenangkan oleh MK ini masih tidak dapat memerintah karena penentangan itu. Di kota Bogor dan kabupaten Bekasi, propinsi Jawa Barat, pembangkangan serupa juga terjadi. Pejabat setempat menolak pembukaan gereja walaupun peradilan telah memutuskan tidak ada dasar untuk menyegel lokasi pembangunannya.

Di tiga kasusini, putusan pengadilan tidak meredam tensi sehingga menimbulkan ketegangan yang kadangkala bisa meletus menjadi kerusuhan. Dalam situasi-situasi ini, langkah paling jauh yang telah diambil oleh pemerintah pusat hanyalah mengutus perwakilan untuk mencoba menegosiasikan sebuah kompromi antara pihak yang bersengketa. Inipun baru dilakukan ketika sengketa telah menjadi sorotan media.

Demi tegaknya otoritas peradilan, presiden sebagai pemegang kekuasaan eksekutif seharusnya melakukan lebih dari hanya menghimbau kompromi. Presiden punya perangkat lain yang bisa ia gunakan, seperti mengeluarkan keputusan presiden; menahan dana ke pemerintah daerah; lobi-lobi secara langsung dan memanfaatkan media secara strategis. Pembiaran terhadap pejabat daerah yang membangkang putusan peradilan tidak saja merusak prospek penyelesaian konflik lokal. Tetapi juga, memberi kesan bahwa kekuatan kelompok mayoritas dapat didahulukan di atas lembaga peradilan. Hal ini membuat massa lebih berani dan kelompok minoritas menjadi terancam karena merasa tidak bisa bergantung kepada perlindungan negara. Ini pada akhirnya melemahkan demokrasi di Indonesia.

Op-Ed / Asia

Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force

Originally published in The Interpreter

My four year-old daughter recently came home from her Jakarta kindergarten with a story about a visit to the school from the head of our local police station. 'If there is a robber and he's running away, the policeman will pull out his gun, fire in the air, and if he doesn't stop then he will shoot him in the leg', she recounted breathlessly.

I have spent 25 years working in and around conflict zones, including more than a decade in Indonesia. My reaction might not have been that of the average parent. 'That', I replied, 'is a violation of Perkap Number 8.' Needless to say, my reference to Police Regulation Number 8 of 2009 regarding Implementation of Human Rights Principles and Standards in the Discharge of Duties of the Indonesian National Police was lost on her. She thought the visit was great.

I had recalled Perkap 8 when re-reading the Hansard of the recent sparring between Australian Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr and Victoria Greens Senator Richard Di Natale over the police shooting of protesters in Papua. But it is not just in Papua where questionable use of deadly force by the Indonesian National Police (INP) takes place. It happens across the country. And this was what Perkap 8 was put in place to prevent.

Article 47 of Perkap 8 says that 'the use of firearms shall be allowed only if strictly necessary to preserve human life' and 'firearms may only be used by officers: a. when facing extraordinary circumstances; b. for self defense against threat of death and/or serious injury; c. for the defense of others against threat of death and/or serious injury.' This is Indonesian law, taken from the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, and this is what should be used to assess police actions, wherever in the country they occur.

The fatal shooting on 14 June 2012 of Mako Tabuni, deputy head of the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), in Jayapura, capital of Papua province, made Senate Estimates in 2012. The shooting of three protesters in Sorong on 30 April 2013, West Papua province, was mentioned in the testy 5 June 2013 exchanges between Senators Carr and Di Natale. You can watch it above.

In the first incident, detectives shot a suspect in the leg as he was running away and then left him to die in a hospital allegedly without making any effort to treat his wounds. In the second, police claim they were threatened by armed KNPB activists. Without more information it is difficult to judge if their response was disproportionate. Police always say they are shooting in self-defense, but it has become such a common excuse that it has started to lose its plausibility.

Cases outside Papua do not garner much attention in Australia, but lethal shootings happen all the time. On 1 September 2011 seven villagers were killed during a rowdy protest against police brutality in the Central Sulawesi district of Buol, a place so obscure even most Indonesians cannot find it on a map.

On 7 March 2013, soldiers burned down a police station in Baturaja, South Sumatra, after their off-duty comrade, First Private Heru Oktavianus, was shot dead by a police officer while speeding away from a traffic violation.

On 8 May 2013 police in Java killed six suspected terrorists in a series of raids. The police usually claim the suspects were armed and resisted arrest. But it is not always true, and many could have almost certainly been captured alive.

Ordinary criminals are shot with distressing frequency, as my daughter's visitor suggests, without any outcry at home or abroad.

Perkap 8 was signed by the then police chief Sutanto, a real reformer. It has not gotten very far. One foreign police officer working on a bilateral community policing program in a large metropolitan command told me he had once seen a copy of the Perkap on the chief's desk but suspected it had been disseminated no further.

Even when progressive regulations or orders are issued and disseminated, they are not always followed. In October 2012, the police chief of Papua, Tito Karnavian, former head of the anti-terrorism unit Detachment 88 (Densus 88), announced that he had banned police from using live ammunition when handling demonstrations in the region. This was progress and it was implemented for some demos, but the deaths in the Sorong case suggest live ammunition was used.

As Article 46 of Perkap 8 says, 'all officers must be trained in the use of power, equipment and firearms that can be used in applying force' and 'must be trained in non-violent techniques and methods.' Training almost 400,000 officers across 33 provinces is a logistical challenge, though it might be a good idea to start with elite units such as Densus 88 or personnel in the Papua provinces.

The new national head of the INP, about to be appointed, might breathe new life into two reforms already in place: implementation of Perkap 8 and Chief Sutanto's other landmark regulation on community policing, Perkap 7. The INP is a very hierarchical organisation that does follow firm orders from above. While its size makes complex reform difficult, its hierarchical nature makes implementing existing regulations with firm orders easier.

The first duty of the incoming INP chief, who reports directly to the president, will be to secure the 2014 elections. Making sure those deployed to safeguard this 'festival of democracy' are properly trained and equipped to use non-lethal force will be an important first step. After a new head of state is elected, he or she should consider issuing a directive that would see Perkap 8 properly implemented. The use of less deadly force could even be politically popular in some parts.

Outside help may also be needed, and this is where Australia comes in. A few decades back, the Victorian state police had a problem of using too much deadly force and created Project Beacon to try to rectify it. They changed the way they thought about the problem, overhauled training, and gave officers on the beat new tools, like pepper spray. Foreign assistance along these lines could help the INP improve performance and increase accountability. Crisis Group has long argued that the INP needs better orders, training, and equipment for the use of non-deadly force.

If the INP is to be more the service it aspires to be rather than the force it is, it needs to shed its military mindset, hold serious post-operation reviews after each fatal incident, and decrease reliance on shooting first and asking questions later, regardless of whether officers are following locally accepted standard procedure. When the time comes and the INP is ready to carry forward the reform of Perkap 8, Australia should be there to help.