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Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, and Exile
The Criminal Procedures Code contains provisions against arbitrary arrest and detention but lacks adequate enforcement mechanisms, and authorities routinely violated it. The code provides prisoners with the right to notify their families promptly, and specifies that warrants must be produced during an arrest. Exceptions were allowed if, for example, a suspect is caught in the act of committing a crime. The law allows investigators to issue warrants; however, at times, authorities made arrests without warrants. No reliable statistics existed on how many arbitrary arrests and detentions took place during the year.
A defendant may challenge the legality of his arrest and detention in a pre-trial hearing and may sue for compensation if wrongfully detained; however, it was virtually impossible for detainees to invoke this procedure or to receive compensation after being released without charge. Military and civilian courts rarely accepted appeals based on claims of improper arrest and detention. The Criminal Procedures Code also limits periods of pre-trial detention. Police are permitted an initial 20-day detention, which can be extended to 60 days, and prosecutors may detain a suspect 30 days initially, with a 20-day extension permitted. Prosecutors may extend police detention periods, and a district court may further extend prosecutors' detention of a suspect. The District and High Courts may detain a defendant up to 90 days during trial or appeal, while the Supreme Court may detain a defendant 110 days while considering an appeal. In addition, the code of criminal procedures allows detention periods to be extended up to an additional 60 days at each level if a defendant faces a possible prison sentence of 9 years or longer, or if the individual is certified to be mentally or physically disturbed. Authorities generally respected these limits in practice.
The country's police forces had a combined total of 250,000 officers, serving at the local, regional, and national levels. During the year, police generally improved their professionalism and capacity to deal with civil disorder, and succeeded in apprehending a large number of suspects in terrorist attacks. However, these improvements were not matched by an increased effectiveness at fighting crime, whether ordinary crime or crimes related to human rights. Impunity and corruption remained significant problems. The extent of wrongdoing within the nation's police forces was difficult to gauge. Police commonly extracted bribes, from minor payoffs in traffic cases to large bribes in criminal investigations. Jakarta Police Chief Inspector General Makbul Padmanagara did not deny or confirm media reports of blackmail and extortion among his officers. His deputy, Brigadier General Nanan Soekarna, said that, during the year, at least 379 officers were disciplined for misconduct, including 80 who were dismissed. The NGO Police Watch said the number of crimes committed by police officers increased during the year over 2002.
In areas of separatist conflict, such as Aceh and Papua, police frequently and arbitrarily detained persons without warrants, charges, or court proceedings. The authorities rarely granted bail. The authorities frequently prevented access to defense counsel during investigations and limited or prevented access to legal assistance from voluntary legal defense organizations. At least one person died in custody during the year (see Section 1.a.).
Human rights activists expressed concern over a number of controversial prosecutions, including that of prominent Acehnese political activist Muhammad Nazar. On July 3, a Banda Aceh court operating in a province under martial law gave Nazar a 5-year sentence for "spreading hatred against the Government." Nazar was former chairman of SIRA, which had long campaigned for a referendum on Acehnese independence. On February 12, police arrested him after he allegedly failed to notify the Government of a political rally held in the city of Lhokseumawe on January 9. Armed Forces chief Endriartono Sutarto defended the arrest, although the COHA between the Government and GAM rebels, which was in effect at that time, gave civil society the right to "express without hindrance their democratic rights." This was the second time Nazar was arrested for expressing his political views. In 2001, he served a 10-month sentence for "spreading hatred against the Government." His crime had been attending a campus rally and putting up banners critical of the TNI and supportive of Acehnese independence. In another case, prosecutors in Aceh brought criminal charges against a young Acehnese activist, Muhammad Rizal Falevi Al Kirani, for peacefully expressing his political views. Falevi, a university student and chairman of the Association of Anti-Militarism Activists (HANTAM), was charged with "inciting hatred and insulting the Indonesian Government." The charges stemmed from remarks Falevi made at a December 2002 political rally in Banda Aceh, at which he called for a referendum on the future status of the province. At the time of his arrest, police said Falevi lacked the proper permits for a public rally, but they later charged him with other offenses. In October, a Banda Aceh court convicted Falevi and sentenced him to 3 years in prison.
There was some controversy surrounding the Government's application of the terrorism decree passed in October 2002 and the ensuing anti-terrorism laws passed in March (which allow the use of evidence from wiretaps, video recordings, and other surveillance to be used in court) in the cases of at least five individuals associated with GAM. They included former negotiators Teuku Kamaruzzaman, Teuku Muhamad Usman, Amni bin Ahmad Marzuki, Sofyan Ibrahim Tiba, and Nasiruddin bin Achmed. On October 21 and 22, the Banda Aceh District Court convicted the five for acts of terrorism and sentenced them to between 12 and 15 years in prison. All five sentences were under appeal at year's end. Prosecutors argued that the defendants should have made concerted efforts to subdue the escalating violence and comply with the COHA, which GAM and the Government signed in 2002 in Geneva. Some human rights activists expressed concern that the terrorism decree was being misapplied to individuals who were not engaged in terrorism; others noted that the five were arrested on May 19, the day the Government declared martial law and launched its military offensive.
Also in Aceh, the Government freed two foreign women who were detained, convicted, and imprisoned in 2002 for violating the terms of their tourist visas. It released an American citizen on January 3, after 4 months in prison, and her colleague, a British citizen, on February 9, after a 5-month imprisonment.
On September 26, police in Jakarta arrested and briefly detained anti-corruption activist Azas Tigor Nainggolan. Tigor, chairman of the Jakarta Residents Forum (FAKTA), allegedly slandered Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso by claiming that he had bribed city councilors.
The Constitution prohibits forced exile, and the Government did not use it.
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