A police mobile brigade officer shoots from his flare gun during a riot in Central Jakarta on May 22. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Amnesty International Urges Police to Bring Perpetrators of Jakarta Riots to Court


JULY 08, 2019

Jakarta. Human rights organization Amnesty International Indonesia is urging the police to conclude their investigation into May's riots in Jakarta and bring the perpetrators to court.

Riots broke out in parts of Central Jakarta after a series of street rallies by Prabowo Subianto's supporters turned violent on May 21-23. 

Police have confirmed nine people died during the riots but said they were still trying to find out who were responsible for the killings. 

The National Human Rights Commission's investigation into the riots came up with similar findings. 

"We've asked the National Police to put the case to a trial. Bring the perpetrators to court," Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said on Monday after a meeting with the police in Jakarta. 

Usman said Amnesty had shown the police the results of its investigation into the riots, which included cases of alleged violence against civilians. 

"We discussed each case one by one. We were also shown the police's findings," he said.

"The police have to find the perpetrators of the riots, including their masterminds," Usman said.

Amnesty also demanded that the police investigate cases of police brutality during the riots. 

"We found cases of alleged beatings by police officers in three places in Central Jakarta during the riots. In one location, Kampung Bali, at least five cases were found,” Usman said.

Amnesty visited the Jakarta Police headquarters to deliver the same message on Tuesday. 

Police have said there were at least eight groups involved in the May riots.

"[They] included members of Islamic organizations from several different regions," the head of Jakarta Police's criminal investigation unit, Comr. Suyudi Seto, said in a press conference in Jakarta on Friday.

The Islamic organizations were based in Banten, West Java, East Java, Jakarta, Lampung and Aceh, Suyudi said.

According to Suyudi, they were supporters of one of the presidential candidates in April's election.

They were the ones who gave the order to instigate the riots, provide financial support and even distribute rocks to be used as weapons by the rioters.  

Police said they have already arrested nine people suspected of provoking people to riot, including starting a fire at a police boarding house, burning police cars and attacking police shelters.

Another suspected perpetrator is still at large. His name has been put on the police's wanted list. 

In Friday's press conference, police said members of several mass organizations were also involved in the riots, including Garis, Forkabi and Pemuda Muhammadiyah, the youth wing of the second largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah.