Wife of Man Killed by Police Seeks Komnas HAM Help

Wife of Man Killed by Police Seeks Komnas HAM Help

The Jakarta Globe
by Farouk Arnaz

A mother of three on Wednesday sought justice before the National Commission on Human Rights for the fatal shooting of her husband by the police last month.

Nurhayati Pangaribuan filed a complaint against the Riau Police for killing her husband, Edison Sianturi, on May 20.

She denied the police’s claim that her husband was a fugitive.

"My husband was only a small entrepreneur," she said.

"He never committed any crime. I want justice and urge that whoever killed my husband be punished."

Nurhayati said she filed a similar complaint to the Riau Police’s internal division on June 1, but there had been no action since.

"If my husband was a criminal, then I would be ashamed to stand here and to talk to you," said Nurhayati, who is four months pregnant. She has three children, the eldest of which, a boy, accompanied her to Jakarta.

"I demand justice. I have already rejected an offer of Rp 75 million [$7,500] compensation from the police. Why would they offer me money if what they did was right?" she said.

Nurhayati said the incident that led to her husband’s death started when members of the Riau Police force were searching for Agiat Hutagaol, a suspect in a factory robbery in Pekanbaru, Riau.

"My husband was in a coffee shop with Hutagaol. They were just about to go and play badminton when police burst in and shot my husband to death," she said. Hutagaol was not harmed and is now in police custody.

Poltak Agustinus Sinaga, a lawyer from the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association who accompanied Nurhayati, said that they have called on the rights commission, better known as Komnas HAM, to investigate the case.

"Police should uphold the principle of presumption of innocence and should not kill somebody so easily," he said. "The victim’s death was horrible. His face was blown off."

Komnas HAM commissioner Johny Nelson Simanjuntak said he would send a letter seeking clarification from National Police Chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri.

"We also plan to meet and to ask him directly how this could have happened," Johny said.

Riau Police spokesman, Adjutant Chief Comr. Zulkifli could not be reached immediately for comment, but he was quoted by Riau Terkini, a local Internet portal, as saying that the police acted according to standard procedures.

"He was a fugitive who had robbed several factories in the Pekanbaru area," Zulkifli was reported as saying .

"We found a revolver on his body when we searched him shortly after he died."