Dozens of people have been shot by the police as part of an escalating crackdown against petty crime ahead of the Asian Games, a human rights organization alleged on Friday.
In a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Friday, Amnesty International Indonesia claimed that police officers had shot at least 77 people across the country between January and August this year, in an operation dubbed Cipta Kondisi (Public Safety Operation).
Among the number, 31 were shot in the Asian Games' host cities, Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra. The organization believes that the police are taking a heavy-handed approach ahead of the Asian Games, which takes place from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
Amnesty International Indonesia's executive director Usman Hamid said the figures reveal a clear pattern of unnecessary and excessive use of force by the police.
"In the months leading up to the Asian Games, the authorities promised to improve security for all. Instead, we have seen the police shooting and killing dozens of people across the country with almost zero accountability for the deaths," he said in a written statement.
Abdul Fickar Hadjar, a criminal law expert from Trisakti University, said the police are only allowed to shoot perpetrators under certain conditions, such as for self-defense.
"If the police do not encounter certain threats they should only shoot to immobilize the perpetrator," he said on Friday. Abdul added that everyone has the right to be processed legally no matter the severity of their crime.