A clash between police and civilians occurred in Buol, Central Sulawesi, on Tuesday (31/08) and Wednesday (01/09). As of this writing, at least 10 civilians were killed and dozens others injured. The victims were killed by gunshot wounds in their head and chest.
The situation got worse as the police imposed curfew and ordered to open fire on those who break it. Numerous civil society organizations in Palu, Central Sulawesi, tried to intervene in this case through a meeting with the head of Police to demand that the police department withdraw their armed forces from the district.
Unfortunately the meeting did not get a positive response from the police and they seemed to ignore citizens’ demands by adding more troops from the Indonesia armed forces (TNI).
The clash was triggered by the unnatural death of a motorcycle taxi driver, Kasmir Timumun (age 19) in jail. He was arrested after accidentally hit a police officer with his motorcycle.
Two days after the detention, Kasmir was found dead. The police explained that Kasmir’s death was caused by suicide (he hung himself). Kasmir’s family and Buol residents were suspicious and didn’t believe police’s explanation. They found signs of tortures such as broken leg and bruises all over his body. Kasmir’s family and friends believe that he had been tortured during the detention.
Unsatisfied with the police’s explanation, thousands of citizens took to the streets and marched to district police headquarters (Mapolsek) Biau, Buol to demand police’s responsibility (31/8).
It was then that the clash and first shooting happened, causing five dead and dozens injured. The shooting sparked civilians’ anger. They went back to mobilize thousands of people from various background. Again, the civilian protest was met with police brutality.
Until now the situation in Buol is still unstable. The curfew remains but citizens are resisting. They made barricades from tree trunks and other materials.
According to the latest report, the police are trying to find scapegoats and make statements that earlier clashes between police and civilians were triggered by “acts of provocateurs”. There is further suspicions that the police will accuse and attempt to arrest individuals involved in People’s Alliance of Buol who have been criticizing the corruptions of the local regent (Bupati).
Earlier in May, tens of thousands of people led by the People’s Alliance of Buol rallied to protest against the regent who were being tried for corruption. The protest was met with repression by the police and hired thugs. (dom/aya/ris/drb)
Please show your solidarity statement with the people of Buol by sending a protest text/sms against police brutality, including the name of your organisation, to the hand phone number below:
1. Amin Litarso
Head of Police Resort in Buol
- Tidak Peduli