“41 Convicts Burned to Death in Correctional Institution, The Ministry of Law and Human Rights Must Be Responsible”

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Imparsial dan Public Interest Lawyer Network

In the early hours of September 8th, 2021, The Prison in Tangerang City experienced a severe fire. As a result of the fire, 41 inmates who inhabited Block C of the prison were reported to have died, while 8 others were seriously injured. The exact cause of the fire is not yet known, but the police are currently investigating.

We view that this incident occurred as a result of the failure of the government, especially the ranks of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in carrying out the mandate of reforming the criminal justice system, especially prisons. The problem of over capacity that has been faced so far is almost completely without policy breakthroughs and concrete solutions.

In fact, for a long time civil society groups have proposed decriminalization of narcotics addicts considering that most of the prison inmates are narcotics convicts. This is not only to protect narcotics users who are actually victims (not dealers) but it is also important to reduce the number of detainees in places of detention that have so far been over capacity.

The government itself admits that the Tanggerang prison itself, for example, has overcapacity up to 400%. Under these conditions, it is very difficult to save lives in the event of a fire as it has claimed the lives of 41 inmates in the prison. On the other hand, neglecting this condition is actually the same as committing torture and endangering human lives as happened to the prisoners.

We consider that even though the people inhabiting the prison are prisoners, they still have rights as stated in the explanation of Article 5 of Law no. 12 of 1995 concerning Corrections which states that every inmates in prison still obtain their other rights like humans, in this case including being placed in proper detention.

We consider the government, in this case the Minister of Law and Human Rights, to be responsible for the deaths of 41 prisoners as a result of the fire. The DPR needs to immediately summon and evaluate the performance of the Minister of Law and Human Rights for his failure to overcome the problem of over capacity in almost all correctional institutions (Lapas) in Indonesia and especially the failure to protect the rights of prisoners in Indonesia.

In addition, the President must immediately evaluate the position of the Minister of Law and Human Rights, especially regarding the plan to reshuffle the cabinet in the near future while ensuring that this incident does not happen again in the future.

Jakarta, September 8th, 2021

Contacts

Hussein (Imparsial) 081259668926
Erwin (Pilnet Indonesia) +62 813-9214-7200

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