The Inauguration of the New Chief of Police General Timur Pradopo:
A Momentum for the Promotion of Polri’s Accountability Agenda
The election of General Timur Pradopo as the new Chief of Police means the transfer of responsibility to complete Polri’s unfinished homework. Polri needs to place recommendations from the factions at the House of Representatives (DPR) as measurable indicators of its future performance. As the people’s representatives, DPR’s independent control over various priority issues is an absolute pre-requirement to measure Polri’s performance within the promised time period.
On the other hand, the agenda of democratic policing, enforcement of rule of law and Polri’s internal accountability to comply with human rights principles must be prioritized and harmonized with the 10 (ten) commitments of Polri’s revitalization under the leadership of the new Chief. The above three main issues form the foundation to revitalize the interactions between the police institution and Indonesian citizens. Considering that this institution is the most concrete and descriptive of the state’s characters, reassurances need to be made so that every Indonesian citizen can enjoy justice, freedom, and effectiveness of state service in a measurable way. Therefore, we can ensure that police institution becomes a professional state agency.
The above agenda also needs to be accelerated to keep up with the development of recent domestic security situation. Crucial problems faced by Polri starting from power abuse, corruption, case brokers, violence in police methods, and the increasing influence of politics on Polri’s institution seemed to disguise any progress made by Polri in the last decade. In the meantime, the current efforts on bureaucracy reform are inadequate compared to the weakness of Polri’s internal accountability mechanism. Added with the strong political influence, this results in a half-hearted Polri reform.
The work of the new Chief of Polri is emphasized not only on rebuilding public’s trust (trust building), but also on taking new and progressive measures. Polri’s biggest challenge is to work independently and to have the courage to reject any political interventions from any parties.
The above commitment was stated by General Timur Pradopo in front of DPR. We therefore urge the government to use this momentum to promote a more comprehensive agenda of Polri accountability in order to support Polri’s commitment. This can take the following form:
The first step is to strengthen Polri’s leadership and institutional reform process through the implementation of democratic oversight. Such democratic policing also requires layered accountability system involving relevant actors, institutional internal control, government/executive control, parliament oversight, judicial review, and civil society oversight.
The second is independence and comprehensive re-structuring of accountability and correction management. This starts from restructuring internal supervising mechanism to strengthening Polri’s cooperation with independent external monitoring institutions. The later is intended so that overseeing and examination activities can be performed on all work units to ensure total accountability and maximum enforcement of law and discipline. Itwasum and Propam must be positioned as an independent control mechanism under the Chief of Police, and guaranteed freedom from the Chief’s prerogative right to avoid interventions.
Third, rule of law must be presented in a formal manner emphasizing on structural (legalistic) aspect, where regulations and practices are based on applicable positive law be it constitution, laws, or other legal products so long as they guarantee the certainty of law. This principle must be applied to all personnel on duty, in which they are required to be able not only to enforce the law but be sensitive towards justice and humanity. Such thing must be shown through significant changes in the enforcement of rule of law in line with human rights standards.
Fourth, if its actions cause human rights violations, the police force must provide effective remedy as an accountability mechanism to repair victims’ rights. This will mean compliance to Perkap HAM No. 8/2009. Such mechanism must apply to all without discrimination, especially against minority groups. Polri’s compliance to criminal justice system, including RUU KUHP, is a measure of its commitment to strengthen effective remedy.
Fifth, it is essential to strengthen cooperation with democratic civil institutions such as Kompolnas, KPK, Komnas HAM, PPATK, BPK, and the Anti-Mafia Task Force to realize and maximize external accountability agenda contained in Polri reform. This also includes its commitment to comply with the external accountability mechanism to support democratic and independent control.
Sixth, Polri must uphold the principles of transparency, accountability and responsiveness, as well as complying to democratic institutional control representing public interests and opening the opportunities for the public to participate. Civil society – including media – oversight must become an oversight and control institution to encourage Polri to go through a transparent and accountable decision making and policy making process.
Jakarta, 25 October 2010
Haris Azhar, Coordinator
Indria Fernida, Deputy Coordinator