Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Terrorist Suspects and Legal Rights

Last Sunday, the Police's Special Unit Densus-88, has successfully dismantled terrorist plot in Medan, North Sumatera.

As in past operations, this time Densus-88 instantly killed three men who were suspected of planning terror activities in the province, among others by robbing a bank in Medan on broad day light and killed one Police officer.

Considering that Indonesia adopted the concept of Rule of Law i.e. Supremacy of Law, Equality before the Law, Presumption of Innocence, and Respect of Human Rights, I wonder whether those men deserve to be killed instantly on the spot.

Please don't get me wrong, I am totally against any act of terror that has caused fear and disorder in society. However, I  felt that anyone suspected as terrorists has the right to defend him/her self in the Court of Law.

It would totally up to the Court Judges to decide whether or not he/she is guilty, and what kind of punishment suitable. If the whole legal proceedings confirmed that the alleged terrorist is guilty and should be sentence to death, execution may be carried out.

Beside that, if the suspected terrorist were captured alive, the Police may have more chance to question and get more information about terrorist network. 

Please find below an article that I have quoted from The Jakarta Globe.  

Terrorists, Bank Robbers or Both? Confusion Within Indonesian Police After Deadly Raids
Farouk Arnaz | September 20, 2010

Jakarta. Confusion continues to surround the deaths of three people killed by members of Indonesia’s elite anti terror forces on Sunday night.

Agence France-Presse reported that the United States-backed Detachment 88 counter-terrorism unit, which shot dead three people, critically wounded two others and arrested another two during two separate raids in North Sumatra, quoted National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Iskandar Hasan as saying the arrests were linked to bloody heist at CIMB bank in Medan last month. 

But he could not confirm the suspects were involved in terrorist activities. “It’s true that at around 6:30 p.m. we arrested those suspected of robbing CIMB Medan,” Hasan said. “We’re not able to say whether this is related to terrorism.”

Motorcycles and weapons including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle were seized during the operations in Belawan and Tanjung Balai cities of North Sumatra province, he added. 

The Associated Press, meanwhile, said officials disagreed on what crimes the group allegedly committed.

Brig. Gen. Ketut Untung Yoga, deputy spokesman for the National Police, said the men were suspected of involvement in the bank robbery, while North Sumatra Police Chief Maj. Gen. Oegroseno was quoted as saying that the bodies had yet to be identified. 

“We are not yet sure if they are linked to the bank robbery or to other terrorist activities,” he was quoted by Kompas as saying, adding several automatic weapons were seized in the raids. 

A police source to the Jakarta Globe, however, said that one of the properties raided on Sunday belonged to a member of the hard-line group Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, indicating the operation was targeting suspected terrorists.

“The owner of the house, Ahmad Gazali, is a member of JAT,” the source said on Monday.

JAT is led by hard-line cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is currently being detained at the National Police headquarters on charges related to the militant paramilitary training camp found in neighboring Aceh.

Densus 88 has been criticized in recent months for its high kill-to-capture ratio — with one suspect killed for every four arrested. 

The deaths raise human rights concerns and risk fueling Islamist propaganda and tarnishing what has been a highly praised anti-terrorism campaign that has seen hundreds of suspects arrested and convicted, AP reports.

The killings also mean the suspects cannot be questioned and intelligence on their networks is lost.


colson said...

You are right of course. Obviously these guys are good at their job but extremely trigger-happy.

So Densus-88seems to be effective indeed in crushing terrorists. But like other special forces they probably have been granted licenses to commit acts which usually are considered to be criminal. If that is the case that would be odd, taking into account Densus-88 is a police force.

The ordinary police should arrest suspects and bring them to court. The use of firearms is strictly limited to self-defence. Which, if policemen claim that was the case, should always be thoroughly investigated.


Harry Nizam said...

Hi Colson,
The matter is not as easy as one may conceive.
On the one hand, extra judicial authorities allegedly given to special forces is very dangerous because there is a big chance for its abuse.
But on the other hand, special force are facing terrorists who will kill without any hesitation.
Therefore, the best thing would be to aim at capturing the terrorists alive. Execution should only be allowed if other efforts failed.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

I am sure we have had a discussion similar to this in an earlier post of yours :)

It is interesting that this happens hot on the heels of some to and fro-ing on whether Densus-88 has committed other significant violations / breaches of law, Indonesian and international, with respect to the treatment of suspects and detainees.

This is particularly so in light of recent Australian efforts to follow-up on whether Australian money was being used in the torture of independence activists in Eastern Indonesia.

ho hum...

H. Nizam said...

Hi Rob,
I am glad to see you and read your comment again.

Frankly speaking, I support efforts by Densus-88 to eradicate terrorism.
In this case I felt that in order to do their job properly, their actions should be based on the laws. Otherwise people might protest against them.

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

kucing-kucingan dimulai

H. Nizam said...

Kalau yang anda maksudkan adalah polisi dan teroris memang saat ini seperti kucing2an. Tapi saya yakin kebajikan akan menang atas kejahatan.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Some times special force can be extreme - getting rid of the cancer will mean the surgeon won't have to return!

H. Nizam said...

Hi Peter,
The problem is that a society needs special forces to protect from those who are willing to kill people, incl themselves, without hesitation, and only based on their own concepts.

askep said...

emang terlalu tuh teroris, masak perang melawan bangsa sendiri

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