M. Imdadun Rahmat, Chairperson National Human Rights Commission
M. Imdadun Rahmat, Chairperson National Human Rights Commission
M. Imdadun Rahmat, Chairperson National Human Rights Commission

M. Imdadun Rahmat
Chairperson National Human Rights Commission
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: [email protected]

Dear Chairperson National Human Rights Commission,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights defender and Freelance journalist.

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the civil service police unit (Satpol PP)’s brutal attack on public lawyer Mr. Asrul Azis Sigalingging, and seven students of the University of Andalas, in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia. The police has not shown any significant progress in investigating or charging the responsible Satpol PP personnel.

On 25 March 2016, at 12:00 am, seven students who were enjoying street food at Tugu Gempa Padang were suddenly targeted by a sweeping operation and attacked by Satpol PP personnel. The Satpol PP accused them of disturbing public order, and six of the students were beaten and kicked. One student, Gianesha, was arrested after he tried to clarify that his girlfriend Berlian, who is also a student, has an identity card and they were there only for sightseeing and enjoying street food. Subsequently, Gianesha was brought to the Satpol PP office.

Shortly after receiving this information, Mr. Sigalingging came to the Satpol PP’s office and tried to negotiate with the personnel to provide legal assistance to Gianesha. Mr. Sigalingging was told by another student that Gianesha was brutally attacked during the sweeping operation, kicked and beaten. Rather than given access to Gianesha to provide legal assistance, Mr. Sigalingging was instead brutally attacked, pushed to the ground and forcibly drugged by the personnel of Satpol PP. Moreover, Mr. Sigalingging’s advocate identity card was also taken from him.

The attack by the Satpol PP on Mr. Sigalingging constitutes an insult on the advocate profession, and a violation of Law No. 18 of 2003 on Advocates, which mandates respect to advocates or lawyers who are on duty providing legal assistance or legal services.

Therefore, on March 28, Mr. Sigalingging along with a group of 37 public lawyers (TP2A), filed a complaint at the West Sumatra Regional Police Office (Polda Sumatera Barat). They demanded an investigation into the brutal attack against Mr. Sigalingging and the students, which is in violation of the Indonesian Penal Code (KUHP) Article 170.1, Article 351.1, Article 335.1and Article 55.1.

Therefore, I respectfully request you to ensure that comprehensive investigation is undertaken to prosecute the Satpol PP personnel involved in the brutal attack. The police should immediately summon the personnel or commander of Satpol PP for further investigation. Finally, the government should provide remedies to the victims.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Defender &  Freelance Journalist

Twitter @wnicholasgomes

Email: [email protected]

www.facebook.com/williamnicholasgomes

Note: The letter has been modified but adopted from the original drafted and published letter  by the Hong Kong Based Human Rights watchdog Asian Human Rights Comission (AHRC). It should be noted that although the letter has been modified for this purpose but the facts and figures remains unchanged. AHRC should be given credit for the information used on this letter . Please do  contact AHRC for further updates.

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