Shoot-on-site rule not violates human rights: Police

Padang police have denied allegations that a newly-endorsed rule which allows officers to shoot rioters on site is prone to human rights violations.

A spokesman for the National Police, Brig. Gen. I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana, said Tuesday the policy made it more difficult for officers to open fire, instead.

“This is not about legalizing shooting on sight order. This is about how police officers should act in the event of anarchy, such as brawl or violent rally,” Ketut told the press.

National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Denaru last week issued a Standard Operation Procedure No. 1/2010 on the police handling of acts of anarchy.

The procedure says if individual or a group of rioters or violent people considered vulnerable to injuring or even killing people, police officers shall fire warning shots. If warning shots are ignored, officers shall shoot at non-fatal parts of the body.

“So the criteria are very tight. Our guns are not supposed to be used whenever we want. There are legal consequences if we misuse firearms,” Ketut said.

He added the operation procedure was also necessary to prevent rioters from fleeing.

“Sometimes we need decisive actions immediately to deal with certain conditions, especially if police officers themselves are endangered.”

Despite the police’s claim to have talked with the National Commission for Human Rights about the rule, the commission’s deputy chairman Ridha Saleh said the new procedure remained worrying.

“In reality, such a rule is often abused by officers in the field. Rioters or anarchists are just human who are supposed to be handled with care,” he said.


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