Lawmakers have called for an investigation into alleged child prisoner abuse in South Kalimantan after a YouTube video was posted in April that shows two imprisoned youths slapping each other at the behest of their guards.
“In the video (below), some people in police uniforms asked two children to slap each other through ‘suit’ [Indonesian traditional hand game similar to rock paper scissors],” lawmaker Aboebakar Alhabsyi said on Tuesday. “Those who lose are slapped or knocked on the head by the winner.”
The video, titled “Abuse in Martapura Police Office” and uploaded on April 14, allegedly shows two child prisoners behind bars playing “suit” at the order of police officers. In the initial rounds, the winner slaps the cheek of the loser. As the game escalates, the loser is knocked on the head, punched in the forehead and slapped with two hands simultaneously.
While the participants don’t appear to enjoy the game, men in police uniforms can be heard laughing loudly as the kids hit each other.
“The police should investigate this case, whether it is true that it happened in Martapura or another place,” Aboebakar said. “If indeed it happened inside the cell of the Martapura Police, it clearly violated the criminal code and 1999 government regulation [on prisoner treatment].”
According to the law and regulation, prisoners should be free from any pressure, including intimidation and physical abuse.
And while my stepfather, like most Indonesians, was raised a Muslim, he firmly believed that all religions were worthy of respect. In this way, he reflected the spirit of religious tolerance that is enshrined in Indonesia’s Constitution, and that remains one of this country’s defining and inspiring characteristics.
Barack Obama’s at Jakarta’s University of Indonesia, 9 November, 2010.