INDONESIA: Tortured student activists who protested against a hotel’s fictitious facilities convicted for nine monthsThis is to voice my concern against the torture of the student activists who protested against a hotel’s fictitious facilities convicted for nine months

Former President National Students Federation
Former President National Students Federation
KNOWLEDGE                              STRUGGLE                                   VICTORY
This is to voice my concern against the torture of the student activists who protested against a hotel’s fictitious facilities convicted for nine months
 
Name of victims:
1. Mr. Fachurrozzi
2. Mr. Maksum
3. Mr. Rino Hadinata, all of them are members of the Pancasila Students Group (Mapancas)
Name of alleged perpetrators: Darwin Ginting, chief of sector police of Medan Kota Adjutant Commissioner Police (AKP), and several police officers of the Police Sector Medan Kota and Medan metropolitan police office
Date of incident: May 14, 2009 to present
Place of their arrest: In front of the Grand Atares Hotel in Jalan Sisingamangaraja Kota Medan
Place of their detention: The Police Sector Medan Kota and Medan Metropolitan police office
Status of their case: On October 7, 2009, the Medan District Court convicted them for nine months for charges of assault and violence under article 170, for committing violence against person or property; and article 351 for maltreatment, under the Indonesian Criminal Law.

I am writing to voice my deepest concern regarding the case of three student activists mentioned above who had been convicted over false charges after they had been assaulted, arbitrarily arrested and detained, and tortured while in police custody in May 2009.

According to the information I have received the three victims were with several other villagers when they held a demonstration in front of Grand Atares Hotel in Jalan Sisingamangaraja Kota Medan. They were protesting against the hotel’s fictitious facilities which were advertised in their leaflets but in fact were non-existent.

The Pancasila Student Group, to which the victims are attached, had complied with the necessary requirements prior to holding the peaceful demonstration. They had sent a letter to the Head of North Sumatera Regional Police on May 11, 2009, containing information regarding the schedule and the details of their planned demonstration.

However, when the group held the demonstration, the police allegedly assaulted, arbitrarily arrested and detained and tortured them in police custody. This is an outright violation to the victim’s right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to express grievances in public. The reported filing of false charges against the victims, which resulted in their conviction and sentencing to nine months in prison, is unacceptable. I am deeply concerned by the denial of the right to fair trial to these victims.

I urge the investigation agencies of Indonesia to ensure that the victims’ allegations of torture are promptly and thoroughly investigated and that disciplinary and legal action be imposed on the police officers involved. I also call for a proper review on the victims’ conviction. Once proven that there are irregularities in the legality of their charges and of how the conviction was reached, their case must be withdrawn promptly.

It is disappointing to note that torture remains part of Indonesia’s policing method for investigation and punishment despite the country being a State Party to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Its failure to have torture written as a criminal offense in its domestic law effectively deprives these victims of any remedies and redress.

I also call for the effective implementation of the Regulation of the Chief of Indonesian National Police Number 8 of 2009, which was newly enacted to deal with the Implementation of Human Rights Principles and Standards in the Discharge of Duties of The Indonesian National Police.

The people of the region are closely monitoring this issue as this is rapidly spreading around. The people of Pakistan are with the students.
 
I urge Mr. Shah Memood Qureshi to take an immediate notice at a diplomatic level to ensure that Pakistan is against every violation human rights in this region.
Friends, Please add your voice and  please comment on this issue.
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