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INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda Raya police

URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ­ URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME Urgent Appeal 28 February 2007 -----------------------------------------------------UA-068-2007: INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda Raya police INDONESIA: Sexual discrimination; torture; police brutality and corruption; sexual abuse; defunct rule-of-law -----------------------------------------------------Dear friends, The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse of Mr. Hartayo, an NGO worker, and his partner Bobby while in detention, by the Banda Raya police between 22-23 January 2007 in Banda Aceh. The alleged underlying motive behind the detention, torture and sexual abuse of the victims is because they are homosexuals. We were also informed that the police made the victims to sign a statement to the Village Head Chief not to indulge in "homosexual actions again". The AHRC is deeply concerned that such brutal violence against the victims was committed without hesitation not only by the civilian attackers but also by the police whose mandate is to protect the rights of people. The AHRC calls for your urgent intervention into this case so that those responsible can be brought to justice as soon as possible. CASE DETAILS: On 22 January 2007 at around 11:30pm, the victim, Mr. Hartayo, a 32 year-old NGO worker in the Aceh province, was at home with his partner, Bobby, when two men (one of whom the victim identified as an employee of the local "Pesona" cafe below his boarding house) kicked down his front door and barged into his home, and proceeded to vandalize his property before assaulting both Mr. Hartayo and his partner. Mr. Hartayo and Bobby were then forced out of their home and ordered to go outside by their attackers, where a crowd of upto 15 people had gathered. The beatings and verbal abuse continued. Mr. Hartayo specifically recalled the words of one of his attackers; "You outsiders slander us; you soil our place with your filthy tricks!". Mr. Hartayo was then ordered to immediately vacate the boarding house, and was marched back to his room to pack his belongings. Mr. Hartayo's ID card and wallet were taken from him, and he was then made to squat on the ground with his partner, while his attackers deliberated on what to do next. They eventually decided to inform the local police authorities.

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1/24/08 12:14 PM

INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda ...

http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2007/2245/

At around 1:30am on January 23, 4 officers arrived at the scene in an official police vehicle. Mr. Hartayo and Bobby were then taken to the Banda Raya police station. There, both men were allegedly made to strip down to their underwear, and were then viciously beaten and verbally abused by the officers. In his testimony, Mr. Hartayo alleges that the officers sexually abused him and then forced his partner to perform oral sex on him. Mr. Hartayo started weeping and attempted to push his partner away, only to be kicked and scolded by the officers who took some perverse "enjoyment" out of their humiliation. The victims were then dragged to the police station courtyard where they were made to squat on the ground in their underwear. Officers then sprayed them with ice-cold water from the courtyard hosepipe. At this point, Bobby asked the officers for permission to go to the toilet. The officers refused, and instead forced him to urinate on Mr. Hartayo's head. Mr. Hartayo and his partner were then taken to a police lock-up, where they were detained until the morning. Mr. Hartayo requested several times to contact his family to inform them of what had happened (a basic human right when facing criminal detention); each time, his request was denied. While in his police lock-up, Mr. Hartayo was instructed by the officers to introduce himself to the detainee who already occupied the cell. When Mr. Hartayo innocently stated that he was a homosexual, an officer entered the cell and severely beat him. According to Mr. Hartayo, he was treated with complete contempt by all the officers he encountered during his detention. At around 9:00am on 23 January 2007, Mr. Hartayo was finally allowed to speak to his fellow NGO co-workers, although for not longer than five minutes. Both Mr. Hartayo and Bobby were asked by representatives from the Aceh NGO Coalition whether they wanted to file a formal complaint; physically and mentally exhausted, both men decided not to pursue the case, and were then made to sign a statement to the Village Head Chief not to indulge in "homosexual actions again". Said Mr. Hartayo of his ordeal; "I felt that my dignity as a human being had been trampled". SUGGESTED ACTION: Please write to the relevant authorities listed below, expressing your grave concern at the bigotry and brutal conduct of the Banda Raya police in this case purely because the victims are homosexuals. Sample letter: Dear __________, INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda Raya police Name of victims: 1) Mr. Hartayo, aged 32, local NGO worker at the Matahari Foundation in Aceh 2) Bobby; Mr. Hartayo's partner Alleged perpetrators: 1) Officers attached to the Banda Raya police station in Banda Aceh 2) 16 yet unidentified civilian attackers in Banda Aceh 3) Employee of "Pesona" Café locating below Mr. Hartayo's boarding-house in Banda Aceh Date of incident: 22-23 January 2007

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1/24/08 12:14 PM

INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda ...

http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2007/2245/

Place of incident: Mr. Hartayo's boarding-house residence in Banda Aceh; Banda Raya police station in Banda Aceh I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse of Mr. Hartayo, an NGO worker, and his partner Bobby by the Banda Raya police, during their police custody between 22-23 January 2007 in Banda Aceh. The alleged motive behind this incident is because the victims are homosexuals. To briefly describe the incident, at around 11:30pm on 22 January 2007, Mr. Hartayo (32) was at home with his partner, Bobby, when two men (one of whom the victim identified as an employee of the local "Pesona) cafe below his boarding house) forcibly entered his home and proceeded to vandalize his property before assaulting both Mr. Hartayo and his partner. The two men were then dragged outside the house to a place where a crowd of upto 15 people had gathered. They were then subjected to beatings and verbal abuse. Mr. Hartayo was then allegedly ordered by the attackers to immediately vacate the boarding house. The attackers then inform the local police authorities. At around 1:30am on January 23, the two victims were taken by four policemen to the Banda Raya Police Station, where they were allegedly made to strip down to their underwear, and were then viciously beaten and verbally abused by the officers. Mr. Hartayo also alleges that the officers sexually abused him and then forced his partner to perform oral sex on him. The victims were then dragged to the police station courtyard where officers sprayed them with ice-cold water. The police also allegedly forced Bobby to urinate on Mr. Hartayo's head. Mr. Hartayo and his partner were then taken to a police lock-up, where they were detained until the morning. I am concerned the fact that although Mr. Hartayo requested several times to contact his family, which is a basic human right for detainees, each time, his request was denied. Finally, Mr. Hartayo and his partner were released on the morning of January 23. However, they were made to sign a statement to the Village Head Chief not to indulge in "homosexual actions again" before their release. I am deeply disturbed to learn of this series of events. I find the conduct of the said officers of the Banda Raya police outfit in this particular case to be cold, calculated and cruel. This raises serious concerns about the state of policing under the current Government in Indonesia; concerns, which I assure you, will not go uninvestigated. Torture has been outlawed under Article 4 of Legislation Number 39 of 1999 Concerning Human Rights as well as the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), to which the Indonesia is a state party. Furthermore, Article 3(3) of Legislation Number 39 of 1999 mentions, "Everyone has the right without any discrimination, to protection of human rights and obligations", while Article 2 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the Indonesia is a state party, prohibits discrimination based on distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, etc. Therefore sexual discrimination against the victims is in violation of these two legislations. I am particularly concerned that such brutal violence against the victims was committed without any hesitation by the police officers, whose mandate is actually to protect the rights of citizens and uphold the law and order. Therefore, I strongly urge you to take immediate action, in ensuring that the accused Banda Raya police officers and the 16 yet unidentified civilian attackers are brought to justice as soon as possible. For this purpose, an official criminal

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1/24/08 12:14 PM

INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda ...

http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2007/2245/

investigation should be conducted and those responsible should be arrested immediately. Whilst the investigation is pending, the said police officers should also be suspended from service and then indicted by law. I also request you to ensure that the victims are adequately compensated for their emotional and physical trauma endured at the hands of the police. May I once again reinstate that as a state party to the ICCPR and the CAT and as a member to the UN Human Rights Council, the Government of Indonesia has a legal and moral obligation to protect its citizens whose basic human rights have been violated, and to ensure that justice is served to those who commit the crimes. I look forward to your prompt and effective response in this matter. Yours sincerely, ---------------PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO: 1.Mr. Abdul Rahman Saleh Attorney General Kejaksaan Agung RI Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1 Jakarta Selatan INDONESIA Tel: + 62 21 7221337, 7397602 Fax: + 62 21 7250213 2. Gen. Sutanto Chief of National Police Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 Jakarta Selatan INDONESIA Tel: +62 21 721 8012 Fax: +62 21 720 7277 3. Mr. Hamid Awaluddin Minister of Justice and Human Rights Uahi Utoyo Usman S.H. Menteri Kehkiman JI. H.R. Rosuna Said Kav. 6-7 Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan INDONESIA Fax: +62 21 525 3095 4. Mr. Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara Chairperson KOMNAS HAM Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng Jakarta Pusat 10310 INDONESIA Tel: +62 21 3925230 Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227 5. Prof. Manfred Nowak Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture Attn: Safir Syed

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1/24/08 12:14 PM

INDONESIA: Alleged brutal torture and sexual abuse by the Banda ...

http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2007/2245/

c/o OHCHR-UNOG 1211 Geneva 10 SWITZERLAND Tel: +41 22 917 9230 Fax: +41 22 917 9016 (ATTN: SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR TORTURE) Thank you. Urgent Appeals Programme Asian Human Rights Commission ([email protected])

Posted on 2007-02-28

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