January 07, 2012
Indonesia's National Police are investigating the shocking deaths of two young brothers inside a police prison in West Sumatra last week.
“Nine officers who were on duty [at the time of the deaths] are being questioned by an internal team,” police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said on Friday.
According to Boy, Sijunjung Police have claimed that the two boys, 14-year-old Faisal and 17-year-old Busri, hanged themselves in their prison cell.
“A forensic examination has been conducted but I have not received the report yet,” he said.
Faisal was arrested on Dec. 21 for stealing from a charity box at a mosque, while Busri was arrested five days later for stealing a motorcycle.
On the night of Dec. 28, Faisal and Busri’s parents were notified by the village administration office that their sons had died in police custody.
“When they arrived at the police precinct, the officers told them that the boys hanged themselves using their clothing as ropes and asked the parents to sign a statement saying that they would not sue the police for anything that happened,” said Roni Saputra from Padang Legal Aid Institute (LBH), who is representing the family.
Roni said that since both parents were illiterate, they obligingly signed the letter.
“Police didn’t show the bodies right away but instead put [the corpses] in an ambulance and dropped them off at their parents’ house,” he said.
But instead of finding the usual marks of someone who died from hanging, the parents saw that their sons’ bodies were full of injuries.
“First, Busri’s arm was swollen, as if his bones were broken, there was a big gash on his left leg, as if someone sliced it open. [The boys’] thighs have marks similar to electrocution, their toes were smashed and their skulls were soft,” Roni said, adding that fresh blood was still flowing from Faisal’s nose.
“The only mark that is consistent with the police’s claim was that the skin around their neck was chafed,” Roni continued.
The frustrated parents went back to the police precinct with a number of other villagers and demanded an autopsy.
“At first the police refused, but then more and more people from the village came and held a demonstration until the police chief agreed,” he added.
As of Friday, the family is still waiting for the result.
“We demand transparency from the police, including the Sijunjung police about the real cause of death,” Roni said, adding that they also have coordinated with West Sumatra Commission of Human Rights (Komda HAM) to investigate the case.
Maria Ulfa Anshor, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Commission for Child Protection (KPAI) said the case showed the police cared little for the welfare of youngsters.
“This case shows that child protection is not being done by the police,” Maria said.
(according to the JG)