Providing Evidence Not My Duty, Rights Activist Says in Face of Police Backlash

Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) coordinator Haris Azhar. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

By : Alin Almanar | on 10:22 PM August 05, 2016
Category : News

Jakarta. The human rights activist who alleged last week that state officials are involved in drug crimes, said his revelation was only meant to serve as an initial lead, which should be investigated by police. However, the same institution now accuses him of defamation over what it deems a lack of evidence.

The National Police, National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and Indonesian Military (TNI), whose members were mentioned in the revelation, filed police reports earlier this week against Haris Azhar, coordinator of the Jakarta-based Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras).

All three institutions said Haris, who has been charged under the Law on Electronic Information and Transactions, failed to provide direct evidence to back up his revelation and challenged him to do so.

"I'm not the one who has the authority, obligation, or means to prove it," Haris told reporters on Thursday (05/08). "As a citizen, my duty is to take part in preventing crime. I've given all I have to the authorities."

The National Police, BNN and TNI have all said that without direct evidence, Haris's revelation damaged their credibility and tainted their public image.

"Things that undermine the integrity of the institutions are a problem for the nation, for all of us," he said.

Haris revealed last week that members of the National Police, BNN and TNI allegedly helped executed convict Freddy Budiman run his drug business. In his testimony, Freddy also said that he had given more than Rp 450 billion ($34 million) to BNN officers, while some high-ranking officers in the National Police received up to Rp 90 billion in alleged kickbacks.

The revelation was made on social media and via messaging apps a day before Freddy's execution. The drug convict gave his testimony to Haris when they met in the prison on Nusakambangan Island in Cilacap, Central Java, two years ago.

"I'm worried that there would still be no response to my revelation from the authorities. This could lead to disappointment among the public," Haris said.

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