The Legal Aid Institute (LBH) in Indonesia is one of the institutions needed by the state to ensure that the rights of the people’s legal representation are fulfilled when dealing with the law. But ironically, often cases that befell legal aid institutions in Indonesia such as vandalism, threats or terror are never finished without even being resolved. To what extent can the state, through its government and enforcement agencies, ensure legal protection for legal aid agencies and their workers?
The terror case that hit the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute was recently reported to the police shortly after the attack on Saturday (19/9). This case is reminiscent of terror cases with a similar mode, experienced by several legal aid institutions in Indonesia, such as in Medan, Jakarta, where the perpetrators have not been found until now.
Usman Hamid, Director of Amensty International, said that the state needs to ensure that legal institutions are protected because these institutions also help the state serve its people.
Usman said, “The first must be until the culprit is found and held accountable in court and that is criminal liability. Therefore, the criminal act of damaging property damages the LBH office. The second is to prevent this by giving official recognition to the role of aid workers law in Indonesia as a defender of human rights.”
Usman Hamid added that the legal aid law in Indonesia clearly regulates and provides a very clear understanding of how important legal aid providers are, because the assistance provided by LBH-LBH must be provided by the state.
Meanwhile, Tri Wahyu, Director of Indonesian Court Monitoring who is also a former alumni of LBH Yogyakarta, suspects that the attacks on legal aid institutions are related to the cases being handled. He hopes that the government will respect the role of legal aid institutions in a country that adheres to democratic principles. “Actually, our country’s constitution encourages a democratic rule of law, yes, it means the state should be grateful to LBH, YLBHI, friends of democratic institutions who actually also support the state agenda, democratic law which is the achievement of Indonesia’s constitutional ideals,” he said.
Protection of legal and humanitarian aid institutions in Indonesia can be done concretely and juridically.
“Concretely, we can learn from the experience of LBH Apik, whose office was also raided in early 2019, by a number of people, including officers who threatened and intimidated legal aid workers, the majority of whom were women. The state, in this case the LPSK, provides CCTV at the LBH Apik office and connects the CCTV with the security side of the LPSK. So LPSK monitors from time to time what is happening at LBH Apik,” said Usman.
Periodic monitoring by law enforcers in LBH offices is also another form of concrete protection, while the protection of other legal organizations will provide support for the enthusiasm of LBH lawyers who serve the small people.
Apart from these forms of security, the most important thing for all levels of public law practitioners in Indonesia, including the 58 humanitarian and legal institutions that support LBH Yogyakarta, is to arrest the perpetrators and punish those who do damage, threats and attacks on institutions. legal aid provider.
The Indonesian police have so far been the focus of the disclosure of assault cases and Usman Hamid reminded the need for police independence in handling and investigating this case. This is a test of the independence of the police to be able to investigate and resolve cases that may involve influential or bad state actors. [my/ka]