Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Briefing 128 / Asia

Indonesia: Rusuh lagi di Ambon

Ringkasan Ikhtisar

Bentrokan yang terjadi tanggal 11 September 2011 antara Muslim dan Kristen di Ambon, ibukota propinsi Maluku, dan kekerasan sporadis yang terjadi kemudian menimbulkan kekhawatiran konflik agama yang mendera wilayah ini dari tahun 1999 hingga 2002 terulang kembali. Kali ini, sebuah upaya luarbiasa dari para aktivis yang menamakan diri “provokator perdamaian” dan pejabat setempat telah berhasil mencegah kekerasan sehingga tidak meluas ke daerah lain di Maluku. Tapi kerusuhan ini telah memicu upaya-upaya oleh kelompok ekstrimis di luar Maluku untuk memanipulasi ketegangan antar agama sampai rupanya menjadi motivasi untuk peledakan bom di gereja Kepunton Solo, Jawa Tengah tanggal 25 September, seolah-olah sebagai aksi balas dendam atas kegagalan pemerintah membela komunitas Muslim.

Kejadian ini menyingkap dampak jangka panjang dari konflik sebelumnya, yaitu dalamnya segregasi diantara kedua komunitas, dan betapa lemahnya polisi di segala aspek: dari hubungan masyarakat, intelijen, kemampuan penyidikan, sampai tingkat kesiapan. Pemerintah harus segera menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan mengenai bagaimana kerusuhan bermula, siapa yang melepaskan tembakan dan kenapa peluru tajam dan bukan gas air mata yang dipakai oleh aparat keamanan. Selain itu pemerintah juga harus membangun kembali rumah-rumah yang dirusak atau dibakar, dan menangani kebutuhan para pengungsi tanpa dikorupsi. Sebuah penilaian yang independen dan terperinci mengenai kinerja polisi harus menemukan dimana kekurangan dan apa solusinya. Dan yang paling penting, pemerintah, masyarakat sipil dan donor harus memperkuat upaya-upaya untuk membangun interaksi antara kedua komunitas, lewat program-program akar rumput yang praktis, yang menguntungkan kedua belah pihak, bukan sekedar dialog lintas agama antara elit.

Kerusuhan tanggal 11 September dipicu oleh kematian seorang tukang ojek Muslim, Darfin Saimin, pada tanggal 10 September. Polisi mengatakan ia meninggal karena kecelakaan; namun berdasarkan jenis lukanya dan beberapa factor lain, keluarga yakin ia dibunuh. Pesan-pesan sms bahwa ia telah disiksa dan dibunuh oleh orang Kristen ramai beredar, dan ketika Darfin dimakamkan (sekitar jam 1.30 siang, tanggal 11 September), ratusan pelayat sudah berkumpul. Kerusuhan meletus ketika mereka meninggalkan pemakaman dan berlanjut di dua wilayah hingga jam 9 malam, yang mengakibatkan tiga orang tewas dan puluhan luka-luka. Lebih dari 100 rumah penduduk, sebagian besar Muslim tapi ada juga yang Kristen, dibakar habis. Sekitar jam dua pagi keesokan harinya, sebuah bentrokan yang merenggut nyawa empat korban tembak pecah di ujung kota yang lain, di kawasan yang sensitif yang membatasi kedua komunitas. Sekitar 50 rumah warga Kristen dibakar. Tanggal 13 September, pasar, sekolah dan kantor-kantor kembali beraktivitas seperti biasa, tapi sekarang ada sekitar 4,000 pengungsi di Ambon, beberapa diantaranya telah kehilangan rumah yang keempat kalinya dalam kurun waktu dua belas tahun. Polarisasi makin kuat, dengan sebagian warga

 

Kristen percaya tukang ojek meninggal karena kecelakaan, sementara warga Muslim mempercayai ia dibunuh, dan kedua belah pihak yakin ada provokator di belakang kerusuhan.

Spekulasi mengenai siapa yang mungkin diuntungkan dari kerusuhan ini – TNI, polisi, politisi setempat, politisi nasional, atau kelompok ekstrimis – mengaburkan fakta bahwa Ambon paska-konflik adalah sebuah kota yang tegang dan mudah tersulut, meskipun ada usaha untuk memunculkan citra “Ambon Manise”. Pertikaian geng antar kampung sering terjadi, begitu juga kejahatan biasa, yang hanya karena agama korban atau pelaku, bisa langsung menjadi pertikaian antar agama. Setiap orang tahu dimana perbatasan antara komunitas Muslim dan Kristen; sekolah umum juga tersegregasi. Di tempat-tempat dimana kedua komunitas berbaur, seperti di universitas negeri, kantor pemerintah dan beberapa pasar besar, ada obsesi bahwa proporsi dari masing-masing komunitas mesti berimbang. Kepadatan penduduk yang tinggi, diperparah dengan mengalirnya pendatang dari Sulawesi Tenggara, tidak membantu. Oleh karena itu, meskipun banyak di Ambon yang percaya bahwa kerusuhan yang baru lalu terjadi karena telah direncanakan sudah ada cukup banyak bara untuk bisa menyalakan api secara spontan.

Pemerintah di Jakarta memperlihatkan keprihatinan mereka dengan mengirim Panglima TNI, Kapolri dan Menkopolhukam, ke Ambon tanggal 15 September untuk berkoordinasi dengan pejabat dan pemimpin masyarakat setempat untuk membahas solusinya; dan mengirim sebuah tim khusus penyidik dari mabes Polri untuk melakukan penyelidikan terhadap Tempat Kejadian Perkara (TKP). Pemerintah juga bertindak cepat untuk menghalangi pihak-pihak yang berpotensi mengacau pergi ke Ambon untuk memanfaatkan kerusuhan. Tapi, tiga minggu setelah kekacauan meletus, isu mengenai “serangan oleh Salibis” terhadap Muslim di Ambon masih memicu emosi di situs-situs radikal. Ketidakpuasan dari masa lalu dimunculkan lagi dan mulai beredar alur cerita baru tentang ketertindasan dan ketidakadilan terhadap komunitas Muslim. Sebuah analisa forensik yang profesionil terhadap kematian Darfin dan rehabilitasi sesegera mungkin terhadap perumahan warga Muslim dan Kristen yang dibakar mungkin bisa membantu meredamkan emosi. Tindakan jangka panjang juga diperlukan untuk meningkatkan kinerja kepolisian dan merujukkan kedua komunitas.

Jakarta/Brussels, 4 Oktober 2011

I. Overview

Clashes on 11 September between Muslims and Christians in Ambon, capital of Maluku province, and sporadic incidents thereafter raised fears of a return to the communal fighting that wracked the region from 1999 to 2002. This time, an extraordinary effort by grassroots “peace provocateurs” and local officials largely kept the violence from spreading further in Maluku. But the unrest triggered efforts by extremists elsewhere to manipulate communal tensions, apparently motivating the bombing of a church in Solo, Central Java on 25 September.

The outbreak exposed the lasting impact of the earlier conflict, the depth of the fault-lines between the communities and glaring police inadequacies on every count: community relations, intelligence, investigative capabilities and preparedness. The government must quickly answer questions about how the violence started, who opened fire and why, as well as rebuild homes and address the needs of newly displaced without the usual corruption. An independent review of local police performance should identify shortcomings and solutions. Most importantly, government, civil society and donors must intensify efforts to build interaction between the communities through practical projects of mutual benefit.

The violence was sparked by the death on 10 September of Darfin Saimin, a Muslim motorcycle taxi driver. Police said it was an accident; circumstantial evidence convinced the family he had been murdered. Text messages that he had been tortured and killed by Christians began circulating, and by the time Darfin was buried (about 1:30pm on 11 September), hundreds of mourners had gathered. Violence erupted as they left the cemetery and continued in two areas until about 9pm, leaving three dead and dozens wounded. Over 100 homes, mostly Muslim but about twenty Christian, were burned to the ground. Around two the next morning, a clash that claimed four shooting victims erupted at the opposite end of town, in a sensitive area dividing the communities. About 50 Christian houses were burned.

By 13 September, markets, schools and offices were returning to normal, but Ambon had some 4,000 newly displaced, with some having lost their homes for the fourth time in twelve years. Polarisation was greater than ever, with mostly Christians believing the accident theory, most Muslims believing the murder theory and many on both sides seeing provocateurs active from the sidelines.

Speculation about who might possibly benefit from the violence – the army, the police, local political figures, national political figures, extremists – obscures the fact that post-conflict Ambon is a tense, violent and divided city, much as local boosters like to evoke the idyllic image of “Sweet Ambon” (Ambon Manise). Inter-village gang fights are frequent, as are common crimes that, because of the victim’s or perpetrator’s religion, can instantly take on communal overtones. Everyone knows where the borders are between Muslim and Christian communities; public schools are largely segregated. Where the two groups mix, in the state university, government and a few large markets, there is an obsession with communal balance. A high population density, exacerbated by a steady influx of economic migrants from Southeast Sulawesi, does not help. Thus, even though many in Ambon believe that the latest violence had to be planned rather than spontaneous, there was more than enough kindling to start the fire.

The government in Jakarta made clear its concerns by taking two unusual steps: sending its top three security officers – the armed forces commander, the police chief and the coordinating minister for political, security and legal affairs – to Ambon on 15 September to meet with local officials and community leaders to discuss solutions; and sending a team of investigators from police headquarters to examine the accident/crime scene. It also acted quickly to stop potential troublemakers from travelling to Ambon to exploit the unrest. Three weeks after trouble erupted, however, the issue of “attacks by Crusaders” against Muslims in Ambon is still roiling extremist websites. Old grievances are being dredged up, and a new narrative of Muslim persecution is taking root that needs urgently to be countered. An independent forensic analysis of Darfin’s death and quick rehabilitation of burned-out neighbourhoods would help. Longer term action is also needed to improve policing and break down communal barriers.

Jakarta/Brussels, 4 October 2011

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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