Rights Groups Seek Probe Into Jakarta Police Shootings Ahead of Asian Games

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By : Agustinus Beo Da Costa & Gayatri Suroyo | on 8:27 PM July 22, 2018
Category : News, Security

Jakarta. Human rights groups called for an independent investigation on Sunday (22/07), after police shot dead 11 men earlier this month as part of a security clampdown ahead the Asian Games.

Jakarta Police said they shot 52 people suspected of street crimes, killing 11, and arrested hundreds on July 3-12.

Amnesty International Indonesia researcher Bramantya Basuki said the shootings echoed Brazil's anti-crime operation before the Rio Olympics in 2016, when rights activists accused police of tampering with crime scenes to make it appear that its officers had come under attack.

"We need to have an independent, effective investigation to make sure that this pattern is not used in Indonesia," Basuki told a joint news conference with other rights activists in the capital.

Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Argo Yuwono told Reuters the police had acted according to standard procedure and had only shot suspects who were "a danger to officers or to other people."

The rights groups also accused authorities of widespread unlawful killings of suspected drug dealers and suspected militants, saying the numbers of "extrajudicial killings" had increased to 71 in the first seven months of this year from 38 cases in the corresponding period last year.

"We are not supporting robbery, drug-dealing or terrorism, but we want to show that everyone accused of crimes has the right to the presumption of innocence until there is a verdict from a trial," said Arief Maulana, a lawyer with the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute.

The Asian Games, which will run from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2, is estimated to draw nearly 17,000 athletes and officials and more than 100,000 spectators. Tens of thousands of police and military officers will be deployed during the Games in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra.

Reuters

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