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House speaker disagrees with dissolution of Densus 88

1st March 2013 | 1.937 Views
House speaker disagrees with dissolution of Densus 88
Illustration. Densus 88 activity against terrorism in Solo, Central Java. (FOTO ANTARA/Akbar Nugroho Gumay) ()
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - House Speaker Marzuki Alie said he disagreed with the dissolution of the Densus 88 anti-terror squad, saying its presence is able to minimize terror acts in Indonesia.

"If Densus 88 has weaknesses, it is the weaknesses that should be improved, its institution should not be disbanded," the House Speaker said here on Friday.

Marzuki said that terrorism was the most dangerous multinational crime which caused not only the loss of lives but also created wider negative impacts.

Citing as an example of the Bali bombing in 2002, he said it caused fear among tourists to come to Bali so that it disturbed the growth of Bali`s tourism and economy.

"The establishment of Densus 88 anti-terror squad has shown benefit where it is able to minimize terror acts in Indonesia," Marzuki said.

He said that if there was human rights violation within Densus-88, members of the anti-terror squad must be reminded and solution to the problem must be sought, so that violations against human rights would not be repeated.

According to the House Speaker, the presence of Densus-88 is beneficial so that there is no need to dissolve it.

"If the Densus 88 personnel do not understand what human rights are they need to be told. If Densus 88 is dissolved and a new anti-terror squad is established we would spend time only to disband and to establish it," Marzuki Alie said.

Marzuki who is a ruling Democratic Party politician, reminded that in the 2000s terror acts were frequent to occur in Indonesia. Even Australia imposed a travel ban on its citizens to visit Indonesia.

Many tourists did not have the courage to visit Indonesia. It had impacts on the tourism sector so that the country`s tourism industry become gloomy, he added.

Following allegations of human rights violations, the House of Representatives announced plans on Friday to strengthen supervision over counter-terrorism operations carried out by the National Police`s Densus 88 anti-terror squad.

House Commission III overseeing security and legal affairs is slated to form a working committee specifically for the supervision of the squad, which was set up with US funding and assistance after the deadly 2002 Bali bombing.

"The working committee is to accommodate critics and input from the public, particularly over claims of abuses and violations. We will demand ongoing counter-terrorism measures to be conducted in a transparent and accountable way," Commission III Deputy Chairman Almuzzammil Yusuf was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying on Friday.

Almuzzammil said Commission III had long supported the counter-terrorism measures coordinated and initiated by the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) and the National Police.

However, recent events had forced the House to take stern measures over Densus 88`s compliance toward the presumption of innocence, the Constitution and human rights.

"We do not expect operations carried out by Densus 88 to be counterproductive, and ignite public anger," said Almuzzammil.

Densus 88 operations are based on input and direction from both the BNPT and the National Police. (*)