UPDATE (Indonesia): Fair trial not guaranteed in the prosecution of killers of four villagers under military court


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-135-2007
ISSUES: Administration of justice, Extrajudicial killings, Judicial system, Military,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that thirteen suspects of the earlier reported extra-judicial killings have been released as their detention period has ended. However, there are still concerns that this case will likely be brought to the military court and a light sentence will be given to those responsible. The AHRC demands that this case should be brought before the civil court.


As the AHRC has earlier reported in our previous appeal, Navy Forces, which were safeguarding an area of land under dispute in trial in the High Court, shot at villagers who were trying to halt the cultivation process by the Rajawali Nusantara Corporation on 30 May 2007.

According to the updated information received, four persons were killed and one child, previously reported to have been killed, has managed to survive the bullet wound.

The investigation was initially conducted by the Pasuruan Resort Police immediately following the incident, but on the following day the Navy Military Police (POMAL) took up the case for the reason that the suspects were military officers. Thirteen marines have been detained by the POMAL since one day after the incident.

On September 24, they were released as the detention period had ended and they all were indicted under the Penal Code. The articles of the Penal Code which were applied to the suspects were Art 338 regarding murder, 351 jo. 55 regarding participation in maltreatment resulting death and 170 regarding persons who with united forces openly commit violence against persons or property. As of now, the records of all suspects are under the Military Oditur; prosecutor office in the military. However, the commander of the Navy Forces was exonerated from his liability in allowing the Navy forces to guard the Corporation and kill four persons. In the meantime, the nexus between the corporation and the Navy or the Commander in charge of has not yet been revealed.

It is reported that the ballistic test has been conducted by POMAL and Forensic Laboratory of East Java Regional Police. However, this test can only disclose which weapons were used for the shot and the report has been kept confidential.

After the incident, the Military Commander has announced that appropriate compensation would be given to the victims and their families, however, all medical expenses was paid for through the Askeskin (Asuransi Kesehatan Masyarakat Miskin) Programme which is targeted at members of poor families who become sick or injured. The assistance provided by the Programme should not be considered, and is not, compensation which is provided for on behalf of the Navy Forces, as it is subject to the criteria imposed by the programme, whereas the victims should be receiving compensation unconditionally. It is also reported that in practice, it is difficult to claim assistance under the Programme, as the family of victims have difficulties in gaining access to the hospitals and related institutions which require their submission of many certain documents.

The AHRC has previously expressed its concerns over the transparency and accountability of the investigations. In such cases involved in military officers, if the case is held in the military court, fair trial cannot be guaranteed as such those military personnel receive very light sentence which is contrary to a case from the civil court (UA-137-2005).

Please write letters to the concerned authorities urging them to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into this case. This case should be investigated and heard in the civil legal process, instead of the military procedure. The perpetrators, including their commander, should account for their actions if they are found guilty.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Dear __________,

INDONESIA: Please ensure fair trial in the civil court not in the military court

Name of victims: 
1) Ms. Dewi Khotidja binti Juma’atun, aged 21, 2) Ms. Mistin, aged 21, 3) Mr. Rohman bin Saumar, aged 17, 4) Mr. Sutam Saruyan, aged 45 
[All of them are resident of Alas Tlogo Village, Pasuruan, East Java]
Alleged perpetrators: Group of Navy forces attached to Navy Eastern Fleet in Surabaya, which was guarding a dispute land in Alas Tlogo Village, Pasuruan, East Java
Date of incident: 30 May 2007
Place of incident: Alas Tlogo Village, Lekok, Pasuruan, East Java

I am writing this letter to voice my deepest concern regarding the improper level of investigation on the Pasuruan Case. In this case, the alleged perpetrators have all been released as they are at the end of their detention perid. Now, the evidential records are in the hands of the Military Oditur. I am concerned whether this case will be conveyed to the court in a timely manner or whether it will be handed back to the navy military police (POMAL) as the investigator of this case.

I am surprised that this alleged extra judicial killing might be heard in the military court and that the investigation and prosecution is conducted by the military bodies. It is aggravating to know that this case was taken over by the military authorities, as the investigation was initially conducted by the civil police, Pasuruan Resort Police. The suspects should not be excused from a fair trial in civil proceedings rather than the military court because of their position as military officers. Conviction of these perpetrators in a military court will only result in a lighter sentence in the form of disciplinary action. Moreover, Commanders of such suspected officers should also hold responsibility, and as yet, no superior officer has been brought into the investigation and prosecution.

I am aware that Komnas HAM has stated that this case is a violation of human rights, particularly deprivation of right to life, cruel and inhuman treatment, and violation to right to safety. Despite this fact, the progress of this case has been stalled and has not been given urgent status. I am also informed that ballistic test has been conducted by the POMAL and Forensic Laboratory of East Java Regional Police, but thus far the report has not been informed to public. Which it is contrary to the National Military Commander whom had stated before that the whole process will be conducted in a transparent manner.

I therefore urge you to ensure that the investigation, prosecution, and the hearing will be conducted in the civilian legal process, not in the military procedures. I also urge that the suspects’ Commander also taken into account, since it can be deduced that they were not uninformed of the events. To my knowledge, the Navy forces do not open fire to any target unless the Commander has instructed them to do so. Furthermore, the Navy, as part of military should defend the people, instead of opening fire to civilians them and guarding private assets.

I understand that Indonesia is a member of the UN Human Rights Council; therefore I urge the government to show its sincerity to protect and uphold the highest standards on human rights for its citizens by proving to make its pledges into reality, in particular to guarantee that the victims and their family obtain redress. In addition, adequate compensation should be given to them without further delay, as opposed to just finance their medical and funeral expenses. Funding the victims’ medical expenses through the Akeskin Programme, which is originally designed to help poor families, is not the appropriate approach to compensate the victims. I am also informed that the victims and their family have called for justice to be administered. This improper investigation has become extremely stalled. The perpetrators should be brought to justice without further delay.

Mischief of military forces similar to this case had been taking places in numerous areas throughout Indonesia during the New Order regime. I urge that Indonesia will not turn back to such dark ages.

I look forward to your prompt and effective response in this matter.

Yours sincerely,



1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
Republic of Indonesia
Presidential Palace
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
Tel: + 62 21 3845627 ext 1003
Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782

2. Mr. Hendarman Supandji
Attorney General
Kejaksaan Agung RI
Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin No. 1
Jakarta Selatan
Tel: + 62 21 7221337, 7397602
Fax: + 62 21 7250213

3. Gen. Sutanto
Chief of National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Jakarta Selatan
Tel: +62 21 721 8012
Fax: +62 21 720 7277

4. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng 
Jakarta Pusat 10310
Tel: +62 21 3925230
Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227

5. Air Chief Marshal Djoko Suyanto 
Military Commander in Chief 
Mabes TNI, Cilangkap
Jakarta 13870
Tel: +62 21 8459-1244, 8459-1243
Fax: +62 21 845-6805

6. Admiral Slamet Subijanto
Commander in Chief of Indonesian Navy Forces
Mabes TNI, Cilangkap
Jakarta 13870
Tel: +62 21 8459-1244, 8459-1243
Fax: +62 21 845-6805

7. Chief of Navy’s Eastern Fleet
Ujung, Surabaya
Phone (031) 3294421, 3294151
Fax (031) 3284609

8. Head of Military Oditur III-12
Jl. Bundaran Tol Waru
East Java
Phone (031) 8554263
Fax (031) 8554261

9. Mr. Philip Alston 
Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions 
Atten: Lydie Ventre 
Room 3-016 
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9155

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-135-2007
Countries : Indonesia,
Issues : Administration of justice, Extrajudicial killings, Judicial system, Military,