Press Release
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KontraS (The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence)

URGENT APPEAL: Torture Case Against Mr. Kuswanto by Kudus' Police Officers of Central Java Province of Indonesia


Dear Friends,

The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) has obtained consent from Mr. Kuswanto to writes you about the torture case against Mr.Kuswanto committed by Kudus' Police Officers. The case occurred on 28 November 2012. We received the report from Mr.Kuswanto about this case on 26 November 2014.

Mr. Kuswanto is a victim of wrongful arrests and torture committed by Kudus' Police Members, with the chronology as below:

1. On November 27th 2012, that was occurred the crime of motorcycle theft in PT. Walls [ a local company];

2. The next day on November 28th 2012, the victim along with his five colleagues were arrested by Kudus' Police Members, at Perdana Café, Kudus, Kaliwungu Ring Road, Central Java, Indonesia;

3. During the process, victim with all his colleagues, experienced torture from the police who pushing the victim to admit that they are the perpetrators of the theft;

4. After the victim was arrested, the investigating authorities did not immediately bring the victim to the Police Office, but the victim was taken by car to the Area of Driving License's Test which is located on the Ring Road of Muria Kudus University;

5. When the victim arrived at the Area of Driving License's Test, the victim was taken down and burned by the investigators, victim's condition was handcuffed, the legs tied, and eyes covered with duct tape, causing the victim suffered burns on his face, neck, right chest, and abdomen;

6. After that, the victim was taken to Kudus Police Office, where the investigators returned to torture him by pouring alcohol to the victim's body, which led to the victim unconscious;

7. Victim was hospitalized at the Kudus General Hospital for two weeks and later referred to Mardirahyu Hospital and treated for one week.

The brutality conducted by Kudus' Police officers, is a violation of law and must be processed through an accountable and transparent criminal prosecution mechanism. The persecution of Mr. Kuswanto in the form of burning which result severe injuries, clearly violate the Article 351 Paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code, which if persecution resulted in serious injuries, the guilty are threatened with the criminal prosecution as longest as five years. The action also violate the Law No. 39 Year 1999 on Human Rights especially the Article 4: Every Person has the Right to Live and not to be Tortured, and Article 3 Paragraph 2: that Everyone is Entitled to Recognition, Security, and Legal Protection.

Moreover, Indonesia as a party which include in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT), should obey the article which prohibits torture and other cruel acts. As stated in Article 1 Paragraph 1: For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by the which severe pain or Suffering, Whether physical or mental, is intentionally Inflicted on a person for such purposes as Obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or Suffering is Inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or Suffering Arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. And in Article 16 Paragraph 1 Convention Against Torture which stated: Each State Party shall undertake to Prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment the which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of references to other forms of cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Based on the above information, we urge: 

First, Indonesian National Police to crack down the perpetrators and bring them to the legal proceedings (the court). The court must be open and safe for the family of victim to access information about the judicial process until the verdict. In addition, Indonesian National Police must ensure that there is no act of intimidation conducted by any Police Member in any region in Indonesia.

Second, the victim is a poor people who just working as labor, which makes it difficult to finance their life and cover the cost of treatment in the hospital. On that, Kudus' Regional Police should be responsible to bear all medical expenses of the victim, including compensation for losses suffered by the victim.

Third, further than that, we urge Indonesian National Police to ensure the effective and intensive monitoring toward the members, both when on duty or not, so their actions would not damage the police's image in the eyes of society.

Fourth, independent state commissions, such as the National Commission on Human Rights and Agency of Witness and Victim Protection, should take the initiative to ensure the legal process, protect, and fulfill the rights of victims to be run effectively.

Jakarta, December 3th 2014


Haris Azhar
Coordinator of The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS)


Please send a letter to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case and requesting their intervention.

1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President Republic of Indonesia
Presidential Palace
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010 INDONESIA
Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782
Phone: + 62 21 3845627 ext 1003

2. Mr. Hafid Abbas
National Commission on Human Rights
Jl. Latuharhary No.4B Menteng
Jakarta, Indonesia 10310
Phone: +62 21 3925230
Fax: +62 21 3925227

3. Mr. Abdul Haris Semendawai
Agency of Witness and Victim Protection (Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban)
Gedung Perintis Kemerdekaan (Gedung Pola) Lt. 1
Jl. Proklamasi No. 56
Jakarta Pusat 10320
Phone: +62 21 3190 7021

4. Mr. Sutarman
Indonesian National Police Headquarter
Jl. Trunojoyo, Selong Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan 12110
Phone: +62 21 7218555

5. Mr. Djoko Suyanto
Chairman of National Police Commission of Indonesia
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No.20 Kebayoran Baru – Jakarta Selatan 12160
Phone: 021-7392317
Fax: 021-7392317
E-mail: ;

6. Kudus' Police Office
Jl. Jendral Sudirman No. 78 Kudus 
Central Java - Indonesia 
Phone: (+6291) 438110
Fax: (+6291) 444371