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No Use of Filing Police Report? How Indonesian Police Keep Siding with Sexual Predators

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Police in Luwu, South Sulawesi, have thrown out a report by a mother who accused her ex-husband of raping their three children, and then these police officers have also been actively campaigning against the report by spreading statements to a number of online media that the report was a hoax, while actively making replies against those who posted the case in twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.

The police have also been accused of being involved in attacking projectmultatuli.org, a website which first reported the case, as the word multatuli temporarily could not be posted in Instagram after the police labeled the report as a hoax.

A number of journalists who are close to the police have also joined the police to dismiss the case as a hoax.

The case began when a mother, RA, reported her husband, SA, to East Luwu police office in October, 2019 after she realized that her three children acted strangely. After asking her children what had happened, one of her sons told her that their father had raped them.

However, after two months the police stopped the investigation saying that there had been not enough evidence to pursue the report further.

The case became a national attention after Project Multatuli reported the case in its website projectmultatuli.org, capturing the attention of the public and being reposted by other outlets. The case became even a bigger headline after the police started to fight against the media reports.

This is not the first time the police have been accused of taking sides with the perpetrators of sexual crimes, rapists and sexual predators.

The police in Gambir, Central Jakarta, for instance, ignored a report by an employee of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) when he filed a report in 2017, accusing his colleagues in his office to have sexually harassed him since 2012. The victim even filed a second police report but was of no avail. When the case became a national headline two years later, the police denied to have received any report by the victim.

Another high-profile sexual-harassment scandal is a case implicating poet Sitok Srengenge. He was named a suspect in 2015 for sexually abused a student from the University of Indonesia (UI). Srengenge was accused of indecent conduct, crimes against decency and obscenity. He was also accused of impregnating the student and assaulting her several times. Two other women have also stepped forward with similar claims against him.

However, the case has been going nowhere, and Sitok continues to roam free, attending events and making public appearance as if nothing has happened.

The sexual harassment case in Shiddiqiyyah Islamic boarding school (pesantren) by the son of the school’s owner against more than a dozens of female students also highlights the police’s bias toward the perpetrator.

The case which was recently reported by omong-omong.com show how the police allow M. Subchi Azal, the accused perpetrator, to be free despite him having been already declared a suspect. The police’s deliberately stopped from detaining him despite a real possibility he could repeat his crime against other female students considered his position within the school (Kebal Hukum: Kejanggalan Kasus Kekerasan Seksual di Pesantren Shiddiqiyyah)

The police investigation against M. Subchi Azal, and subsequent indictment process also showed how weak the police’s evidence and weaknesses were, forcing the prosecutors to send back the file time and again.

The case seems to have nowhere to go.

Why have the police been keeping on defending the accused sexual perpetrators?

While it’s already unacceptable that the police stopped the investigation into politically-connected people or rich businesspeople in any cases, it’s insane that the police have defended the perpetrators of sexual harassment and violence, let alone child molesters, rapists and predators.

In the case of child rapist in Luwu, for instance, have the police defended their pride at the expense of the future of the three children and their mother? Is it only because the police knew they had been wrong all along and now they want to silence those voices screaming the police officers had made fatal mistake? Are the police officers in Luwu afraid that they will be punished if their bosses in Makassar and Jakarta find out their negligence? Or have the high-ranking police officers in Makassar and Jakarta allowed or given their blessing to the suppression against the voices of innocence to take place?

If the latter is the case, then the nation’s law enforcement is already hopeless. However, we still have the full confidence that it’s a matter of local police’s fearing that their bosses would find out they have done grave mistake, and trying to bury their mistake.

If this is the case, then it’s urgent for the police generals in Makassar and Jakarta to promptly take swift action to not only investigate it but also reveal it to the public and punish these bad cops. The police leadership must quickly investigate any other cases taking place across the country where the local police have defended the perpetrators, and if they find such corrupt practice, they must punish these bad cops accordingly.

The public has now come up with hashtag “It’s Useless to File Police Report” to show desperation toward how the police are handling cases. If the police leadership are slow to take action against their officers in many places across Indonesia, the desperation will only be getting stronger, leading to hopeless feeling and loss of trust.

What is the use of the police if they don’t have the public trust?

Editorial Omong-Omong
Editorial Omong-Omong Redaksi Omong-Omong

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