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Rights Monitors Urge Military to Stop Meddling in Civil Affairs

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  • Sunny
    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/rights-monitors-urge-military-to-stop-meddling-in-civil-affairs/ Rights Monitors Urge Military to Stop Meddling in Civil
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2013
       
       

      Rights Monitors Urge Military to Stop Meddling in Civil Affairs

      Military personnel of Indonesian Special Army Forces (Kopassus) take part in the 68th anniversary of the Indonesian Military celebrations in Jakarta on October 5, 2013. (AFP Photo)

      Military personnel of Indonesian Special Army Forces (Kopassus) take part in the 68th anniversary of the Indonesian Military celebrations in Jakarta on October 5, 2013. (AFP Photo)

      Jayapura. As the Indonesian Armed Forces commemorated their 68th anniversary on Saturday, civil society groups slammed the institution for still interfering in civilian affairs, such as fielding detectives in law enforcement and election bodies.

      They said members of the Indonesian military, known as TNI, have strayed from their constitutional mandate to defend against outside threats, and instead turned their focus inward, resulting in the torture and extrajudicial killing of civilians.

      The Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial) said over the weekend that TNI members had assumed positions as investigators with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and as intelligence officers with the National Election Commission (KPU).

      “Imparsial views all TNI’s involvement in civilian works as a grave mistake,” the organization’s executive director Poengky Indarti said.

      “Such involvement will only pull TNI back to the civilian law enforcement sphere like it used to do during the totalitarian New Order era. It’s a real setback for the TNI’s reform,” she said.

      Poengky said the KPK has been very successful without military’s involvement.

      “Recently, the KPK managed to catch red-handed the Constitutional Court chief for accepting bribes. We should appreciate the KPK’s work rather than allowing the military’s involvement,” she said.

      Poengky said TNI members’ involvement in the graft investigation violated the law.

      “We want to have an independent KPK without any intervention from outside institutions. That’s why we pushed for the KPK to train its own detectives,” she added.

      The KPK has complained that it does not have enough investigators, most of whom are borrowed from police and the Attorney General’s Office. The lack of investigators has limited the KPK’s capacity to investigate more graft cases across the country.

      When the antigraft body recently clashed with the police, it turned to the TNI for help.

      The KPK could run into difficulty investigating graft cases involving the TNI, Poengky said. “It also undermines military reform launched since the fall of New Order regime in 1998.”

      She also warned that the TNI’s involvement in intelligence work with the KPU puts the military directly into politics.

      Imparsial urged the House of Representatives to demand that the TNI withdraws all soldiers from civilian institutions.

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