Wednesday, January 3, 2018

1) Papuan activist Filep Karma held by airport police, interrogated and called a ‘monkey'

2) Indonesia beefs up anti-terror police unit to combat ‘extremist’ challenge

1) Papuan activist Filep Karma held by airport police, interrogated and called a 'monkey'

KBR - January 3, 2018

Jakarta -- Former political prisoner and Papuan pro-independent activist Filep Karma was intercepted by five Air Force officers upon arriving at the Soekarno-Hatta airport in Cengkarang.

The incident occurred at around 9pm on Tuesday January 3 after he had picked up his baggage. Karma had just arrived from the Central Java city of Yogyakarta by Lion Air and was about to exit through Arrival Gate A.

After being intercepted, the Air Force officers took Karma to a room where one of the Air Force officers pointed to a small pin that Karma was wearing on his chest with a picture of the Morning Star independence flag.

"I was asked all kinds of things. 'This is the OPM [Free Papua Movement] flag isn't it?, he asked. I answered, 'No. It's just a symbol. Based on the 1945 Constitution a flag is made from cloth measuring 1x2 metres. It's not a flag'", Karma told KBR by phone on Wednesday January 3.

Feeling that he had done nothing wrong, he then tried to explain himself saying that he was a former political prisoner who had been incarcerated in jail for 12 years.

Karma also quoted the words of former Coordinating Minister for Politics, Security and Legal Affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, who gave him a guarantee when he was released from jail in November 2015.

Karma told them, "I got a guarantee from Luhut Panjaitan, if Filep Karma wants to shout about things he's free to do so. He struggles peacefully, he doesn't carry bombs. But they didn't believe me".

Annoyed because Karma continued to protest and reject the accusations thrown at him, the Air Force officers became angry. One of the officers snapped at Karma hitting the table and abusing him.

"I was called a 'monkey'. Okay I said, 'Thank you Sir for the insult that was just made'", related Karma.

Karma said that he was interrogated by the Air Force officers for almost two hours. After the interrogation, he was taken by police to the Soekarno-Hatta airport police station in Tangerang to fill out a police investigation report (BAP).

In the middle of making out the BAP, an activist from Civil Liberty Defender, Uchok Sigit Prayogi, arrived to assist Karma. Prayogi questioned police about the grounds for making the BAP and in the end the police stopped the process.

"The detective unit chief wasn't able to answer Uchok's questions because he only received the request from the AURI [Air Force]. Eventually I was released and went home", explained Karma, who was released at 12.30am.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Dicegat TNI di Bandara Soekarno-Hatta, Filep Karma Diinterogasi dan Dipanggil 'Monyet'".]



INDOLEFT News service


2) Indonesia beefs up anti-terror police unit to combat ‘extremist’ challenge


Indonesia is beefing up its elite Detachment 88 (Densus 88) unit in light of increased threats from local and international terror networks, says National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian.
There will be additional 600 policemen assigned to the squad, bringing the total headcount to 1300, reports The Straits Times.
“We now have Isis, not only Al-Qaeda elements. We are also seeing those who, through the internet, got self-radicalised, learnt how to make bombs and made attack plans,” said General Tito at a media briefing in Jakarta.
“Therefore, the Detatchment 88 must be beefed up.”
General Tito, who was involved in various high-profile terrorist raids when he was a field officer with Detachment 88, said silent operations must be stepped up, meaning more preemptive strikes were needed.
This in turn required higher detection capability, he added.
Tasks within Detatchment 88 are divided into various operations: arrests and raids; investigation and cross examination; interrogation; wiretapping; and evidence handling.
Won praise, condemnation
The unit has won praise for the many raids it has made on militant networks in Indonesia, foiling attacks and arresting terrorist suspects.
However, it has also been heavily criticised for a repressive role in West Papua against indigenous self-determination and civil society groups.
In 2017, Detatchment 88 arrested 154 and killed 16 terrorists during raids, with 14 officers injured and four killed during the raids operations.
The unit made more than 150 arrests in 2016, disrupting terror plots, including the planned launch of rocket attacks on Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands from Batam island.
General Tito also unveiled plans to send more police officers for overseas studies, saying he was inspired by the late Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in his bold move in preventing corruption.
The police force has, for the first time, received an allocation of 120 scholarship positions from the Finance Ministry to send its personnel abroad. This would mean a record number of officers studying overseas in coming years.
Waves of new faces
“We want to have big waves of new faces and a less corrupt culture,” said General Tito.
“When they return to Indonesia, they will have their own community who think the same way and who will be the agents of change. We want to replicate the Singapore concept. This is what Singapore did.”
He noted that when young policemen were sent to the United States, Britain and other countries with a less corrupt culture, they would be shaped accordingly.
The plan is to send 100 of the 300 fresh graduates from the police academy overseas as well as scores of other early-career policemen, he added.

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