Jakarta. The family of a man who died in the custody of the Depok Police has accused officers of murder.
Hamid Rolobesy, a 45-year-old public minivan driver, was arrested on Saturday as the police rounded up witnesses they suspected had information about a bank robbery in Depok.
“We have come [to Jakarta Police Headquarters] to file a report about the murder of a member of our family,” said one of Hamid’s relatives, M. Saleh.
“We want an explanation about how Hamid died. When he was arrested he was in perfect health. We are reporting the Depok Police for murder.”
Police said Hamid’s body was being autopsied at a police hospital to determine the cause of death.
Hamid was arrested along with 12 other people in a dramatic raid on an empty shop-house in Kalimalang, East Bekasi.
Witnesses described police officers armed with rifles firing four shots into the air before storming the building.
A friend of the deceased, Abdurahman Mance, said other surviving friends told him that the police had burst into the three-story shop-house and bound the hands of everyone inside with packing tape, before covering their eyes with duct tape.
One of the men who was arrested and later released said that while he could not see what was happening to Hamid because his eyes had been taped shut, he did hear him crying out.
“I don’t know [what happened to Hamid]. I could only hear noises as if Hamid was in pain. All of us had our eyes covered,” Fahmi Ohorella said.
Nine of the detainees were subsequently released by the police for lack of evidence. The nine, several of them teenagers, also filed complaints at police headquarters on Monday.
One of these, Abdul Latif Rolobessy, told of a beating while in police custody.
“Look, my eyebrow is split and my right ear is badly bruised,” Abdul said, pointing to injuries he said were inflicted while in detention. He added that the police had not returned his possessions when he was released.
“My phone, the contents of my bag, my shirts and pants are gone. My blender is gone, and my sheets,” he said.
Another of those who had been detained, Evan Rolobesy, said the police pistol-whipped him while taking him into custody.