Target: Chief Justice of the Indonesian Supreme Court Muhammad Hatta Ali
Goal: Demand punishment for Indonesian soldiers found guilty of murder
Recently a dozen members of the Indonesian special forces outfit known as the Kopassus were found guilty of breaking into a Cebongan prison and murdering four criminal suspects there in cold blood. They were tried via military court and received highly reduced sentences for this heinous crime. This is an egregious affront to criminal justice everywhere and endangers the very fabric of democratic society by obviating soldiers of accountability for their actions.
In one of the most egregious cases of lenient sentencing, First Sergeant Hermawan Siswoyo was found guilty of assisting in premeditated murder, assault, and a variety of other crimes, but was sentenced to a mere year of custody. For reference, premeditated murder generally carries a sentence of twenty years to life in Indonesia. Furthermore, only three soldiers were discharged following the murders, despite the direct participation of at least eight in the commission of the murders.
During the trial other members of the Kopassus and supporting reactionary groups loudly protested outside the courthouse while wearing military gear, and at times broke into the courthouse in an attempt to intimidate court personnel. At no point did judges or police attempt to remove the protesters, even as they shouted racial slurs aimed towards defaming the prisoners slain by the Kopassus. In addition, many anonymous threats of violence were made against prosecution witnesses, who were forbidden from concealing their identities from the public.
This obviously unfair trial, muddled as it was by politics, racial tension and blatant corruption, sets a disturbing precedent for justice in Indonesia. This injustice should be righted as quickly as possible. The military court in Indonesia is still subsidiary to the Supreme Court, and as such, we should encourage Chief Justice Muhammad Hatta Ali to allow an appeal from the prosecution for re-sentencing.
Dear Chief Justice Muhammad Hatta Ali,
Twelve members of the Kopassus special forces were recently found guilty of the pre-meditated murder of four helpless prisoners. Instead of being sentenced appropriately, these men received special reduced sentences. Most egregiously, First Sergeant Hermawan Siswoyo was sentenced to a mere year of jail time for direct involvement in pre-meditated murder.
These sentences are obviously inappropriately lenient, and fail to hold the military to a standard of accountability necessary for a functioning democratic society. We hope that, as the individual best seated to demand a re-sentencing, that you will do all within your power to see justice served.
[your name here]
Image Credit: Studio Titus via Wikimedia Commons