Raid by Narcotics Police
Non-Governmental Organization activist from the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi), Zenzi Suhadi, had an audience with the Chief of the Narcotics Unit of the South Jakarta Police Resort, Comsr.
VIVICK Tjangkung, in the latter’s office on July 27. He came to protest a raid conducted by the South Jakarta police to his house. “The raid did not comply to proper procedure,” said Zenzi on Thursday, August 27.
Five police officers in plain clothes raided Zenzi’s rented house in Jalan Pusdiklat, East Jakarta, on Thursday evening, July 23. Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Unit Comsr. Heru Irawan led the operation. According to Zenzi, Heru showed a police report form regarding alleged narcotic abuse. Zenzi protested because the police could not produce a court search warrant or a document order for an investigation.
The police had brought with them urine test paraphernalia. Zenzi and two relatives residing in the house had to take the test. The results showed negative. “Neither did they find any drugs on the premises in the raid,” said Zenzi.
In his audience with Comsr. Vivick Tjangkung, Zenzi reiterated his query on the police’s grounds for investigation. Zenzi related how Comsr. Heru, who was there during the audience, said the raid was in response to a report the police had received. But Heru did not say whose report it was.
Ronald Siahaan, Zenzi’s legal counsel who came with his client, said the police could not use a report as grounds for a raid. “That is a violation of the procedure of law,” he said. The meeting ended with no resolution.
Up to Saturday, August 29, Vivick did not respond a request for an interview from Tempo. South Jakarta Police Resort Spokesman, Adj. Comsr. Rita Oktavia Shinta, said she did not yet have any details regarding Zenzi’s complaint. “I don’t yet know what the process is. Let me first ask the narcotics unit,” she said.
Zenzi filed a pre-trial motion against the police raid. The South Jakarta District Court has been holding hearings since Tuesday, August 25. Another of Zenzi’s attorney, Judianto Simanjuntak, said Article 1 paragraph 18 of the Criminal Code clearly states that raids may only be conducted by officials in a full-blown investigation case. Zenzi’s case was only yet at the initial stages of finding out. Judianto assessed the police raid as an illegal offense.
The legal team deemed the police have over-reacted in trying to find fault with Zenzi, who is known for his relentless defense of the environment for Walhi. Judianto said the raid was part of a systematic effort to gag Zenzi and Walhi. At the time of the raid, Zenzi was in the middle of advocating several environmental cases. A few weeks prior, he had been vehemently voicing out rebuttal of export of baby lobster, and the plan to move the capital city. He was also organizing protest against ratification of the omnibus law. “It is suspected that the act of terror is aimed at undermining our advocacy work,” said Zenzi.
Judianto considered the raid on Zenzi’s house is similar to the enforced swab testing carried out towards several East Kalimantan Walhi activists at end of July. In the event, several officials from a Samarinda bureaucracy not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment swarmed the Walhi, Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of Nusantara, and the Samarinda Legal Aid Institute headquarters. They insisted the activists take an impromptu corona swab test.
One day later, a group of officers came and disinfected the premises while taking pictures of every single room. Three of the activists were announced Covid-19 positive. It came to light later that the swab test conducted was fake. The joint office had often been under close scrutiny after the Samarinda Legal Aid Institute provided advocacy for seven activists and students from Papua.