U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Information transmitted to the Government and replies received

317. By letter dated 26 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur advised the Government that he had received information according to which, although torture and ill-treatment are proscribed by the Constitution, the state ideology Pancasila, the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure, it has been used routinely in Aceh by military and police authorities since mid-1989, resulting in death in a number of cases. Torture has reportedly been used against suspected supporters of the Aceh Merdeka movement, as well as their colleagues or relatives, in order to obtain information or to intimidate.

318. The methods most commonly used reportedly are: beating on the head, shins and torso with fists, lengths of wood, iron bars, bottles, rocks and electric cables; kicking with heavy military boots; burning with lighted cigarettes; electrocution; slashing with razor blades and knives; death threats, faked executions and deliberate wounding with firearms; pouring water through the nose; immersion for long periods in fetid water; suspension upside down by the feet; placing heavy objects on knees and other joints; isolation, sleep and food deprivation; mutilation of the genitals, sexual molestation and rape.

319. Incidents of torture and ill-treatment are reported to have taken place at virtually every level of the military command structure, and in dozens of security force installations. The districts most commonly cited are those of Pidie, Aceh Utara, Aceh Timur, Aceh Besar and Aceh Tengah. Sometimes detainees have also been transferred to various military and police installations in Medan, North Sumatra, where they have also been tortured. According to the reports, the fear of being returned to military custody and of facing further torture compels many of those tried for political crimes to plead guilty and offer no defence. The cases described in the following paragraphs were transmitted to the Government.

320. Nasrun Majid was arrested in June 1990 when a group of about 40 soldiers came to his family's house in Alue Nirih, Peureulak, in search of his elder brother, a suspected Aceh Merdeka activist. He was held for 11 days at the Aceh Utara District Military Command in Lhokseumawe, during which time he was reportedly beaten on the shins and head with a wooden club while being questioned about the whereabouts of his brother.

321. Ishak bin Ismael, a village head, was arrested by security forces in 1992 and taken to the police station at Baktia, where he was tortured to death. According to reports, police placed a large wooden beam across the back of his neck and then stood or jumped on it until he was dead.

322. Ismail bin Gani, a civil servant at the office of the Regent of Pidie, was arrested by military authorities in March 1992 in the village of Paloh. He was reportedly held incommunicado at the Kopassus headquarters in Rancong for two months, during which time he was repeatedly beaten. When his wife was allowed to visit him in May 1992 his arms and legs were broken and he had to be carried by soldiers.

323. Information was also received indicating that in April 1992 at least a dozen people of the village of Tjot Kruet, Pase, were beaten by soldiers searching for two suspected members of Aceh Merdeka. The victims, who included three elderly men, were also forced to beat members of their own families, to crawl over rough terrain and to stare into the sun for several hours.

324. Torture or ill-treatment was also reported to be routinely used against criminal suspects in other parts of the country, as in the following two cases:

(a) Sofyan Lubis, a shoe-shine boy aged 16 accused of stealing clothes, died in the Tanjung Gusta children's prison in Medan in September 1992. According to relatives and lawyers his corpse bore clear signs of torture; his stomach, chest and neck were severely bruised, two teeth were missing and blood was coming from his mouth, nose, ears and genitals.

(b) Amas Hadiansyah was arrested at the beginning of 1992 in Bandung in connection with an armed robbery. As a result of being beaten by three policemen he reportedly lost the sight in one eye.

325. The Special Rapporteur continued to receive information about the use of torture in East Timor. Military and police officials were reported to have tortured or ill-treated some of the suspected government opponents detained in November 1992 and afterwards. He was also informed of the case of Agostinho Pereira, detained in August 1992 at Dili airport by security forces who suspected that he was a member of a pro-independence group. According to the reports, he was beaten on the spot by soldiers until his face was swollen and blood came from his ears.

Urgent appeals

326. The Special Rapporteur sent three urgent appeals to the Government on behalf of the people mentioned below, regarding whom fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture while in detention. The dates on which the appeals were transmitted appear in parentheses at the end of the corresponding summaries.

327. Rui "Los Palos", a student in Singaraja, Bali, was reportedly arrested together with two other university students in Dili on 14 May 1993 by members of the military. (27 May 1993)

328. Martinho Rodrigues Pereira, a former East Timorese prisoner, was reportedly arrested on 5 July 1993 in Djakarta by members of the military intelligence forces under suspicion of assisting politically active East Timorese living in Djakarta. It was also reported that two other persons had been arrested in the same circumstances and that they all were being held incommunicado. (27 August 1993)

329. Fausto da Silva, Gil Lemos, Julio X da Silva, Sebastiao Pedro da Silva, Cristiano Araujo, Augusto Pachao Monteiro, Tinoco, Bento Pereira, Isac da Costa, Francisco da Silva, Benjamin Madeira, Alberto Carvalho, Hermenegildo Carvalho, Tiago de Jesus, Alberto Alves, Virgilio Augusto, Tomás da Costa, Olimpio Castro, Januário de Jesus, José de Jesus, Pedro Patima, Januário alias Aleixo, Casimiro Andrade, Jovito das Dores, Rosalino Pereira, Gustavo Sarmento, Jánio Lobato, Simplicio Madeira, Antonio Baptista, Fernando Tilman, José S. Bento, Lito da Costa, Joaquim Sarmento, Aníbal Magno, Danociano dos Mártires, José Manuel, Francisco Atanásio, Octaviano dos Santos, Aleixo de Jesus Tilman, Gelito Freitas da Silva, Ambrósio da Costa Sarmento, Domingos Dontel Faria, Constáncio Manuel Alves, Narcisio Madeira Neves, Leónio María das Dores, Eufrásio G. Nieves, Atanasio P. Gaspar, Celestino Morato da Cunha and Claudio Cortinhal were, according to the reports, among a larger group of students who were arrested by Indonesian security forces in Dili, East Timor, in advance of a visit to the territory by members of the United States Congress on 1 and 2 September 1993. No indication had allegedly been given by the authorities about their place of detention despite repeated requests by the families. (13 September 1993)

330. The Special Rapporteur also made an appeal, under Commission resolution 1993/64, on behalf of Gabriella Lopes de Cruz Pinto, the wife of Constancio Pinto, an East Timorese to whom the Government's attention had been called on 29 April 1991 because of allegations received according to which he had been subjected to torture in January 1991. Mr. Pinto made a statement before the Commission on Human Rights in March 1993 and expressed his fear that by making a public statement he might be putting the lives of his wife and family, residing in Dili, in danger. According to the information received, Gabriella Lopes was arrested on 12 April and taken to a military intelligence base, Wisma Senopati II, for interrogation about her husband's activities. After being interrogated she was released, but on 13 April she was reportedly visited a number of times by military intelligence personnel and again taken away for questioning. This appeal was transmitted to the Government on 21 April 1993.

331. On 16 June 1993 the Government replied that Mr. Pinto's wife had never been arrested, detained, nor subjected to any harassment. She continued to live at her residence where she could be freely contacted, even by the foreign press. The Indonesian Government had absolutely no reason for detaining persons such as Mrs. Pinto who had not been accused of any violations of law. In April 1993 Mr. Amos Wako, the personal envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, visited and talked with a number of persons in East Timor, including detainees. He conferred with them privately so that they would have an opportunity to express their views and opinions freely and without fear.

Follow-up to the recommendations included in the report on the visit to the country carried out by the Special Rapporteur in November 1991

332. On 4 September 1992 the Special Rapporteur sent a letter to the Government reminding it of the recommendations included in the report on the visit carried out to the country by his predecessor and requesting information about any steps taken to implement those recommendations. On 26 January 1993 a reply was received which pointed out to the following measures taken by the Government in the field of human rights:

(a) General

333. On 21 and 22 January 1991, in cooperation with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, a national workshop on human rights was held at Jakarta, during which structural approaches to the intensification of national activities in the promotion and protection of human rights were outlined.

334. Among the decisions adopted at the workshop was the establishment of an inter-agency permanent committee on human rights. This committee, which was established on 22 February 1991, comprises representatives from different government agencies and departments, as well as members of important national non-governmental organizations. Three working groups were also created whose main respective tasks were to deal with: the question of Indonesia's accession to international human rights instruments; national policies on human rights, including the preparations for the establishment of a national commission on human rights; participation in international human rights conferences. To date the committee and the three working groups have conducted several meetings. Meanwhile, the Indonesian House of Representatives has established its own Commission on Human Rights.

335. Among the issues discussed at a meeting of the Permanent Committee held on 2 November 1992 was the possibility of establishing technical cooperation with the Centre for Human Rights, in particular in the areas of training, such as for law enforcement officials, judges and lawyers, the dissemination of information and other information programmes. In addition, arrangements were made for setting up a curriculum on the study of human rights at university level and the establishment of a library on human rights materials.

336. The Committee was also responsible for the preparation of the Workshop for the Asian and Pacific Region on Human Rights Issues, held at Jakarta from 26 to 28 January 1993.

(b) On specific issues

1. Development of Indonesian law

337. In the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (REPELITA V) the development of Indonesian law is being implemented through a number of policies and measures covering the establishment of new regulations, improvement of the people's awareness of the law, law enforcement, the guidance of the judiciary, the guidance of probation institutions, legal services, the education and training of legal personnel and the establishment of administration and supervision.

338. In the framework of increasing the people's awareness of the law, direct and indirect activities concerning legal guidance, legal assistance and legal consultations, have been carried out. Activities to provide legal guidance have been executed through "Public prosecutor entering the villages" and "Judges Entering the Villages" programmes, the provision of legal guidance to urban communities, the establishment of integrated guidance posts located in the offices of local authorities and the creation of law-conscious families. In addition, to support the equal provision of legal aid, starting from the Third Five-Year Development Plan, legal aid has been provided, free of charge, for the low-income sector of the community.

339. In order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of legal personnel, education and training activities have been improved and increased. Education and upgrading activities on the various aspects of the judiciary, such as the technical officers of the law, judges, clerks of the courts, bailiffs as well as immigration and probation officers are still being carried out. Training programmes have also been conducted and public prosecutors have attended education courses.

2. On offences committed by members of the security apparatus

340. In the case of offences committed by members of the security apparatus, the Government of Indonesia is guided by provisions of the law concerning: the prosecution of a member of the security apparatus who violates the law by a civil court or military tribunal, or the imposition of administrative sanctions; the non-validity of information obtained through torture (art. 117, Code of Criminal Procedure); remedies and compensation to the victim in accordance with sections XII and XIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure; the right of a victim to file a complaint through a legal aid foundation. Disciplinary action taken and the punishment imposed by the courts are widely published in the media.

341. With regard to the police force, a disciplinary campaign is being conducted whereby an assessment rating of "excellent", "good" or "poor" is given to each member. In the case of a poor rating, the member concerned will be put through a one-month retraining programme and given a psychological test to judge whether he is prone to violence and/or fit to be in possession of a gun. A poor retraining result might lead to discharge from the force after the person concerned has first been given the chance to resign voluntarily.

342. On 13 September 1993 the Special Rapporteur sent another letter to the Government drawing its attention inter alia to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/97 entitled "Situation in East Timor", in paragraph 8 of which the Commission encouraged once again the Indonesian authorities to take the necessary steps to implement the recommendations presented by the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture in the report he had submitted following his visit to Indonesia and East Timor and to keep the Special Rapporteur informed of the progress made towards their implementation. On this basis the Special Rapporteur addressed the following questions to the Government:

(a) According to the Government's letter of 26 January 1993, one of the tasks of the Inter-agency Permanent Committee on Human Rights is to study the question of Indonesia's accession to international human rights instruments. Has the Committee come to any conclusion or made a particular recommendation in this regard?

(b) Has the drafting of the new Criminal Code been completed? Does the draft text contain any provision recognizing torture as a criminal offence? If so, what penalty is provided for in respect to this offence?

(c) Have any steps been taken in order to revise or repeal the Anti-Subversion Law?

(d) Have any steps beenabaken to establish a system of regular visits to all places of detention, including police stations, by an independent authority?

(e) Has any authority or agency independent of the security forces and law enforcement authorities been given powers to investigate allegations of human rights violations, including torture?

(f) Have any measures been envisaged in order to ensure a greater involvement of the public prosecutors in criminal investigation?

(g) Would it be possible to obtain information about the number and identity of members of the armed forces and the police found guilty of committing or condoning torture during the last two years, together with an indication of the measures taken against them? Were they prosecuted by a military or by a civilian court?

(h) Have any measures been adopted to ensure that statements extracted under torture are not admitted as evidence in legal proceedings?

(i) Would it be possible to obtain information about decisions in which a court eventually concluded that a detainee's statement had been obtained under torture? Did the victim obtain any kind of compensation?

(j) With a view to ensuring that all detainees have access to a lawyer, have any measures been envisaged in the long or short term in order to increase the number of defence lawyers in the country?

343. In the same letter the Special Rapporteur referred to paragraph 9 of resolution 1993/97, in which the Commission urged the Government of Indonesia to invite inter alia the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture to visit East Timor and to facilitate the discharge of his mandate.

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