[Indonesia] AJI Denounces President Jokowi’s Grant of Remission to Journalist’s Murderer

Originally published in Bahasa Indonesia on the AJI website on 23 January 2018.

 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decision to reduce I Nyoman Susrama’s sentence has obstructed justice and hurt not only the victim’s family but also the country’s press community.

AJI Indonesia, Jakarta — Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s move to grant remission to I Nyoman Susrama, the convicted mastermind behind the murder of Radar Bali journalist Anak Agung Gde Bagus Narendra Prabangsa, has disappointed and hurt Indonesian press community. The president’s decision was stated in the Presidential Decree No. 29/2018 issued on December 7, 2018. The decree has effectively reduced Susrama’s life sentence to “temporary” or a maximum of 20 years imprisonment. Susrama was one of 115 murder convicts that were granted remission.

Susrama, who is the younger brother of then-Bangli regent I Nengah Arnawa, was sentenced to life imprisonment nearly nine years ago. The killing was motivated by Prabangsa’s reporting on corruption allegations that involved Susrama. The stories were published on Radar Bali daily around two months before the murder. Police’s investigation, witness examination and evidence at court showed that Susrama was the mastermind behind the killing. He was proven to have ordered his personnel to pick up Prabangsa at his parent’s home in Taman Bali, Bangli, on February 11, 2009.

Prabangsa was then taken to the backyard of Susrama’s house in Banjar Petak, Bebalang, Bangli. Susrama at that time instructed his personnel to beat Prabangsa—to near death. Prabangsa was still alive when they took him to Goa Lawah beach, in Blatung, Pesinggahan village, Klungkung regency. The group then dragged Prabangsa to a boat before threw his body into the sea. The body, five days later, was found floating in waters in Bungsil strait, Bali.

Prabangsa’s murder was one of the many killings of journalists in Indonesia. His case, however, was among the very few that had been investigated and resolved while the law ignored many other prominent cases, such as the murder of Fuad M. Syarifuddin (Udin), journalist for Bernas daily Yogyakarta (1996); the killing of Herliyanto, a contributor for Radar Surabaya daily (2006); the death of Ardiansyah Matrais, journalist for Jubi Tabloid and Merauke TV (2010); and the killing of Alfrets Mirulewan, journalists with Pelangi weekly tabloid in Kisar Island, Southwest Maluku (2010).

Different from those cases, where the murderers went unpunished, the killers of Prabangsa were tried and convicted. In a trial in Denpasar District Court on February 15, 2010, judges found Susrama guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Eight others who were also involved in the killing were sentenced to five up to twenty years. The convicts later filed an appeal but were rejected by the Bali High Court in April 2010. The judges at the Supreme Court supported the High Court’s decision on September 24, 2010.

However, president Joko Widodo, through his decree, has reduced Susrama’s sentence. Responding to the decree, the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI):

1. Condemns president Joko Widodo’s decision in granting remission to the mastermind behind the brutal murder of Anak Agung Gde Bagus Narendra Prabangsa. The court found that the killing was motivated by Prabangsa’s reporting and that the murder was premeditated. The verdict for Susrama was lighter than the death sentence demanded by prosecutors.

2. Protests the decree, for it has obstructed justice and hurt the victim’s family and Indonesian journalists in general.

3. Demands president Joko Widodo to retract his decision in granting remission to Susrama. AJI views the sentence reduction as an unwise decision, and it sends an inhospitable message to the Indonesian press. AJI believes that letting murderers of journalist go unpunished, or reducing their sentences, will only encourage further impunity practices. Such practices or culture will only prompt violence against journalists to recur.

 

Jakarta, January 23, 2019

President of AJI Abdul Manan (0818-948-316)

Chairman of AJI Indonesia’s Advocacy Division Sasmito (0857-7970-8669)

Below is the AJI Indonesia statement in Bahasa Indonesia:

AJI Kecam Remisi Terpidana Pembunuhan Jurnalis

Kebijakan presiden yang mengurangi hukuman itu melukai rasa keadilan tidak hanya keluarga korban, tapi jurnalis di Indonesia.

AJIINDONESIA, Jakarta – Presiden Joko Widodo memicu kekecewaan komunitas pers karena memberikan remisi terhadap Susrama, terpidana kasus pembunuhan jurnalis Radar Bali, AA Prabangsa. Keputusan itu tertuang dalam Kepres No. 29 tahun 2018 tentang Pemberian Remisi Perubahan dari Pidana Penjara Seumur Hidup Menjadi Pidana Sementara tertanggal 7 Desember 2018. Susrama merupakan satu dari 115 terpidana yang mendapatkan keringan hukuman tersebut.

Susrama diadili karena kasus pembunuhan terhadap Prabangsa, 9 tahun lalu. Pembunuhan itu terkait dengan berita-berita dugaan korupsi dan penyelewengan yang melibatkannya oleh Prabangsa di harian Radar Bali, dua bulan sebelumnya. Hasil penyelidikan polisi, pemeriksaan saksi dan barang bukti di persidangan menunjukkan bahwa Susrama adalah otak di balik pembunuhan itu. Ia diketahui memerintahkan anak buahnya menjemput Prabangsa di rumah orangtuanya di Taman Bali, Bangli, pada 11 Februari 2009 itu.

Prabangsa lantas dibawa ke halaman belakang rumah Susrama di Banjar Petak, Bebalang, Bangli. Di sanalah ia memerintahkan anak buahnya memukuli dan akhirnya menghabisi Prabangsa. Dalam keadaan bernyawa Prabangsa dibawa ke Pantai Goa Lawah, tepatnya di Dusun Blatung, Desa Pesinggahan, Kabupaten Klungkung. Prabangsa lantas dibawa naik perahu dan dibuang ke laut. Mayatnya ditemukan mengapung oleh awak kapal yang lewat di Teluk Bungsil, Bali, lima hari kemudian.

Berdasarkan data AJI, kasus Prabangsa adalah satu dari banyak kasus pembunuhan jurnalis di Indonesia. Kasus Prabangsa adalah satu dari sedikit kasus yang sudah diusut. Sementara, 8 kasus lainnya belum tersentuh hukum. Delapan kasus itu, antara lain: Fuad M Syarifuddin (Udin), wartawan Harian Bernas Yogya (1996), pembunuhan Herliyanto, wartawan lepas harian Radar Surabaya (2006), kematian Ardiansyah Matrais, wartawan Tabloid Jubi dan Merauke TV (2010), dan kasus pembunuhan Alfrets Mirulewan, wartawan Tabloid Mingguan Pelangi di Pulau Kisar, Maluku Barat Daya (2010).

Berbeda dengan lainnya, kasus Prabangsa ini bisa diproses hukum dan pelakunya divonis penjara. Dalam sidang Pengadilan Negeri Denpasar 15 Februari 2010, hakim menghukum Susarama dengan divonis penjara seumur hidup. Sebanyak delapan orang lainnya yang ikut terlibat, juga dihukum dari 5 tahun sampai 20 tahun. Upaya mereka untuk banding tak membuahkan hasil. Pengadilan Tinggi Bali menolak upaya kesembilan terdakwa, April 2010. Keputusan ini diperkuat oleh hakim Mahkamah Agung pada 24 September 2010.

Kini Presiden Joko Widodo, melalui Kepres No. 29 tahun 2018, memberi keringanan hukuman kepada Susrama. Menanggapi keluarnya keputusan presiden itu, AJI menyatakan sikap:

1. Mengecam kebijakan Presiden Joko Widodo yang memberikan remisi kepada pelaku pembunuhan keji terhadap jurnalis. Fakta persidangan jelas menyatakan bahwa pembunuhan ini terkait berita dan pembunuhannya dilakukan secara terencana. Susrama sudah dihukum ringan karena jaksa sebenarnya menuntutnya dengan hukuman mati, tapi hakim mengganjarnya dengan hukuman seumur hidup.

2. Kebijakan presiden yang mengurangi hukuman itu melukai rasa keadilan tidak hanya keluarga korban, tapi jurnalis di Indonesia.

3. Meminta Presiden Joko Widodo mencabut keputusan presiden pemberian remisi terhadap Susrama. Kami menilai kebijakan semacam ini tidak arif dan memberikan pesan yang kurang bersahabat bagi pers Indonesia. AJI menilai, tak diadilinya pelaku kekerasan terhadap jurnalis, termasuk juga memberikan keringanan hukuman bagi para pelakunya, akan menyuburkan iklim impunitas dan membuat para pelaku kekerasan tidak jera, dan itu bisa memicu kekerasan terus berlanjut.

 

Jakarta, 23 Januari 2019

Ketua Umum AJI, Abdul Manan (0818-948-316)

Ketua Bidang Advokasi AJI Indonesia, Sasmito (0857-7970-8669)

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