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Man Arrested by Densus 88 Dies in Custody

Kusumasari Ayuningtyas
Klaten, Indonesia
2016-03-14
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Police stand by during a funeral for Siyono, who died in custody, at his home village of Pogung, Klaten, Central Java, March 13, 2016.
Police stand by during a funeral for Siyono, who died in custody, at his home village of Pogung, Klaten, Central Java, March 13, 2016.
Kusumasari Ayuningtyas/BenarNews

A man arrested by Indonesia’s counterterrorism force in Central Java last week died in custody and his body bore signs of torture, his family says.

Siyono, 34, was buried at his home village of Pogung in Klaten regency before dawn Sunday, five days after his arrest on March 8.

Hundreds of mourners shouted “Allahu Akbar” as a vehicle carrying the corpse entered the village at 2:15 a.m. Sunday (below).

Villagers would not allow security personnel – toting guns and shields – to approach the home of the deceased.

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Siyono was healthy when arrested, but his corpse bore injuries including two black eyes, a broken nose and bruises on the right side of his face, according to Sri Kalono, a lawyer for the family.

“He was still bleeding from the back of his head and there were traces of dried blood. His legs were swollen and blackened, and one of his left toenails was almost detached,” he said.

The family has not seen a warrant for Siyono’s arrest and has no idea why he was taken away, the lawyer said.

Sri Kalono said he had reported the death to the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), to a police body that monitors police conduct and professionalism, and to the Indonesian Child Protection Commission.

‘A fight took place’

Siyono was arrested based on information from a terrorist suspect with initial T, alias W, police spokesman Agus Rianto told reporters in Jakarta.

Densus 88 officers took Siyono into custody to search for a weapon, but Agus did not say what kind of weapon or if Siyono was linked to terrorism, according to reports.

“After about two hours of searching, the members brought the suspect back. But on the way, the suspect resisted the members and attacked the members guarding him, and a fight took place in the vehicle,” SuaraMerdeka quoted the police spokesman as saying.

Authorities took Siyono to Bhayangkara Hospital in Yogyakarta, but he died there. His body was taken to the Kramatjati Police Hospital in Jakarta, Agus said.

Sri Kalono questioned the cause of death given by police, according to multiple media reports, that Siyono was weak after fighting with Densus 88 members.

“It is very unlikely that Siyono would have had the nerve to resist and fight Densus 88,” Sri Kalono told BenarNews.

Trips to Sulawesi

Siyono, a father of five, was arrested March 8, shortly after carrying out sunset prayers at a mosque near his house, witnesses said.

Three men led him away. Siyono’s father Marso and brother Wagiyono, who were with him at the time, saw nothing unsual about it, thinking the men were Siyono’s friends.

"They also went into the mosque, but before prayers finished one of them went out,” Marso said.

The father said that over the past year his son had traveled to Sulawesi to try to make money in cocoa farming.

Siyono had came home the day before his arrest after receiving news that his father-in-law had died, Marso said. A month earlier, he had also come home to see his family.

The family realized Siyono had been arrested by Densus 88 on March 10 when armed police in face masks arrived at his home and searched it.

The search uncovered nothing, according to Marso. Police took photo copies of his identity card, his family identity card, and his motorcycle.

The place was packed with children at the time, according to Wagiyono.

Siyono’s wife Suratmi, a kindergarten teacher, was teaching dozens of kids at her home while a new kindergarten building was being constructed.

The family learned Siyono had died Friday at midday when a police officer arrived at the house requesting a family representative to go to Jakarta.

“They said it was for a visit, but I had a bad feeling about it,” Marso said.

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