Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Briefing 94 / Asia

Indonesia: Pengeboman Hotel

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Pada 17 Juli 2009, pembom bunuh diri menyerang dua hotel tepat di pusat bisnis ibukota Jakarta, sedikitnya 9 tewas dan lebih dari 50 orang terluka. Inilah serangan pertama terhadap sasaran asing dalam kurun empat tahun terakhir. Meskipun tidak ada yang mengklaim siapa yang bertanggung jawab atas peristiwa ini, polisi yakin bahwa ini merupakan aksi dari Noordin Mohammed Top, yang memimpin kelompok sempalan dari Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), yaitu organisasi regional jihad yang bertanggung jawab atas Bom Bali I di tahun 2002. Sebelumnya, hotel Marriott juga pernah di bom oleh grup Noordin pada 2003; kali ini, yang menjadi target pemboman adalah para pebisnis asing yang sedang mengadakan pertemuan di hotel ini. Tak hanya itu, restoran di hotel Ritz-Carlton juga jadi sasaran peledakan.

Serangan ini adalah pukulan berat bagi usaha Indonesia melawan terorisme, meskipun tidak berdampak terlalu besar terhadap kondisi politik dan ekonomi Indonesia. Pada 23 Juli Presiden Yudhoyono dinyatakan sebagai pemenang pemilu 8 Juli dengan peraihan suara lebih dari 60 persen; pengeboman ini tidak akan melemahkan pemerintahannya atau menyebabkan krisis. Dampaknya terhadap dunia usaha, yang kehilangan empat tokoh pentingnya, sudah sangat terasa, tetapi indikator-indikator ekonomi semuanya tetap stabil.

Pertanyaan yang muncul apakah pengeboman itu akan terjadi lagi. Jika para pelaku dapat ditangkap secepatnya, warga Indonesia dan orang asing dapat bernapas lega, meskipun itu tak berarti bahwa sel-sel terorisme di Indonesia berhasil dilumpuhkan.. Jika Noordin Top berhasil lolos dari polisi lagi, seperti yang ia lakukan pada tujuh tahun belakangan ini, kecemasan akan terus mendera. Satu pertanyaan penting bagi polisi adalah bagaimana serangan tanggal 17 Juli dibiayai. Kemungkinan para pembom mencari dana sendiri, misalnya melalui perampokan bersenjata seperti yang dilakukan pada Bom Bali II pada Oktober 2005. Jika uang tersebut berasal dari bantuan luar negeri, kemungkinannya berasal dari al-Qaeda salah satu organisasi yg berafiliasi dengannya. Ini membuka kemungkinan bahwa pendonor luar tersebut bisa mencari kelompok teroris lain sebagai partner di Indonesia di masa mendatang, meskipun Noordin Top berhasil ditangkap. Kemungkinan ketiga adalah bantuan bisa berasal dari sumber orang Indonesia diluar grup Noordin sendiri.

Laporan ini memberikan beberapa jawaban atas pertanyaan yang sering dilontarkan, menyangkut aksi pengeboman hotel ini, seperti: dari mana Noordin Top berasal? Apa hubungannya dengan JI? Kenapa hotel-hotel itu menjadi sasaran? Apa artinya untuk program “deradikalisasi”? Serta apa tindakan tambahan pemerintah yang seharusnya dilakukan? Suatu langkah paling mudah tetapi paling tidak bijak adalah untuk mengganti Undang Undang Anti-Terorisme dengan semacam Internal Security Act ala Singapore atau Malaysia memperbolehkannya penahanan preventif tanpa batas. Lebih baik kalau Indonesia melanjutkan program “community policing” supaya masyarakat berani melapor hal-hal yg aneh kepada polisi; perhatian yang lebih kepada pesantren-pesantren yang berafiliasi kepada JI yang bersedia melindungi orang-orang seperti Noordin dan tempat dimana anggota baru bisa direkrut; pengertian lebih mendalam terhadapjaringan internasional; intelijen yang lebih baik serta dukungan lebih kuat bagi reformasi sistem lembaga pemasyarakatan.

Jakarta/Brussels, 24 Juli 2009

I. Overview

On 17 July 2009, suicide bombers attacked two hotels in the heart of a Jakarta business district, killing nine and injuring more than 50, the first successful terrorist attack in Indonesia in almost four years. While no one has claimed responsibility, police are virtually certain it was the work of Noordin Mohammed Top, who leads a breakaway group from Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the regional jihadi organisation responsible for the first Bali bombing in 2002. One of the hotels, the Marriott, was bombed by Noordin’s group in 2003; this time, a meeting of mostly foreign businessmen appears to have been the target. The restaurant of the nearby Ritz-Carlton was also bombed.

The attack sets back Indonesia’s counter-terrorism efforts, but its political and economic impact has been minor. On 23 July President Yudhoyono was declared the winner of the 8 July elections with more than 60 per cent of the vote; nothing about the bombing is likely to weaken his government or prompt a crisis. The impact on the business community, which lost four prom­inent members, has been devastating, but economic indicators are stable.

The question everyone is asking is whether it will happen again. If the perpetrators are arrested quickly, Indonesians and expatriates will relax, although it will not necessarily mean the end of terrorist cells in Indonesia. If Noordin Top eludes police again, as he has for the last seven years, the nervousness will remain. One key question for the police to answer is how the operation was funded. It is possible the bombers raised the funds locally through armed robberies as they did for the October 2005 Bali bombing. If money came from an outside donor, a possible source would be al-Qaeda or its affiliates. This would open the possibility that outside donors could look for other Indonesian partners in the future, even if Noordin Top is behind bars. A third possibility is a donation from an Indonesian source outside the Noordin group itself.

This briefing provides answers to some frequently asked questions about the bombings: where did Noordin Top come from? What is his relation to JI? Why were these hotels targeted? What does this mean for the government’s deradicalisation program? And what additional measures should the government take? The easiest step and the most unwise would be to turn the anti-terrorism law into an internal security act that allowed for lengthy preventive detention. Instead, Indonesia needs continued attention to community policing, more attention to JI-affiliated schools that offer protection to men like Noordin and opportunities for recruitment, more understanding of international linkages, better intelligence and more support for prison reform.

Jakarta/Brussels, 24 July 2009

Op-Ed / Asia

Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force

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.

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