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Death in Police Custody Prompts Family to Seek Justice

BY NURDIN HASAN


Banda Aceh, TAG –  The widow of a street parking attendant who died in police custody is taking the police in Pidie, Aceh, to court over the death.


Zuraidah said that her husband, Salman bin Hasyem, 42, was arrested by the police on Nov. 17 and died in police custody the following day.
M. Alhamda, the deputy operations director of the Banda Aceh chapter of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH), said that the district court in Sigli on Monday began hearing the case against the Pidie district police filed by Zuraidah.
Alhamda, the defense counsel for Zuraidah, said that the case was filed against the National Police chief, the Aceh Police chief and the head of the Pidie Police. He said that his client demanded that the court declare the police arrest of Salman illegal.
“The police are also expected to apologize to the family of the victim and the people of Aceh seven days in a row in local media,” he said.
The family of the victim is also seeking Rp 50 million ($5,500) in damages, Rp 20 million of which would be used to educate the police in order to prevent more deaths in custody in the future.
Alhamda said that Salman had been arrested because he was accused of threatening a bank employee in Sigli and extorting money, but the arrest was not accompanied by an arrest warrant.
Police, he said, had also prevented the Salman’s family from meeting him after his arrest.
He said that Darwin, Salman’s younger brother, saw him in a weak condition and with his head bandaged, the morning after the arrest. At 3 p.m., Salman was rushed to hospital with pains in his chest and hip, speech difficulties and blindness.
After two hours at the Sigli general hospital, at the demand of the family, the victim was referred to the general hospital in Banda Aceh, but he died on the way,” Alhamda said.
He said that the police only contacted the family four days after Salman had died.
“I ask that the judges deliver justice to me as I am powerless,” Zuraidah told the court, adding that with Salman no longer there, she had now to be the breadwinner to keep their seven children fed.
Pidie Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Dumadi said that Salman was arrested after threatening a bank employee with a toy gun and demanding that he be paid Rp 300,000 each week.
He also said that Salman had fallen and hit his head while he was being arrested. He said that since the arrest was made late in the day, the police questioning was only started the following day but since the victim appeared weak, he was immediately rushed to the hospital.[]
Death in Police Custody Prompts Family to Seek Justice Death in Police Custody Prompts Family to Seek Justice Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on December 20, 2011 Rating: 5

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