Some time ago, it was crowded on social media regarding footage of a police officer carrying out violence against a man participating in a demonstration by squeezing his neck and slamming the man’s body onto the sidewalk. After that, the man participating in the action experienced convulsions when he lay on the floor and was surrounded by a number of other police officers. The incident occurred on the occasion of the 389th anniversary of Tangerang Regency on October 13, 2021. Currently, the condition of the male participant in the action is in good condition after receiving treatment at the Ciputra Tangerang hospital.

After the incident went viral, a police officer with the initials NP apologies to the man participating in the demonstration with the initials FA and the FA family. Currently the NP brigadier as the person who committed violence against the participants of the action is undergoing the process of examination at the Banten Police.

Then, based on this, what should be the actions of the police officers or demonstration participants when conducting demonstrations or expressing opinions in public based on the point of view of the law or the rule of law in force in Indonesia.

According to Law Number 9 of 1998 concerning Freedom of Expressing Opinions in Public (“Law 9/1998”) in article 2 paragraph (1) states “Every citizen, individually or in groups, expresses opinions as the embodiment of democratic rights and responsibilities in the life of society, nation and stateā€. Furthermore, in Article 5 letter of Law 9/1998, citizens who express their opinions in public have the right to express their thoughts freely and obtain legal protection. Every citizen who expresses opinion in public based on Article 6 of Law 9/1998 is obliged and responsible to:

  1. respect the rights and freedoms of others;
  2. respecting generally accepted moral codes;
  3. comply with the laws and provisions of applicable laws and regulations;
  4. maintain and respect public security and order; and
  5. maintain the integrity and unity of the nation.

Based on this, in conducting demonstrations, citizens are required not to be anarchist and obey all applicable regulations. However, if the demonstration gets out of control, the police must act in a good manner and not use violence against the demonstration participants. This is in accordance with Article 7 of Law 9/1998 which reads as follows:

In the implementation of public opinion submission by citizens, the government apparatus is obliged and responsible for:

  1. protect human rights;
  2. respect the principle of legality;
  3. respect the principle of the presumption of innocence; and
  4. provide security.

his is further emphasized in the Regulation of the Head of the National Police of the Republic of Indonesia No. 16 of 2006 which states that every member of the National Police is prohibited from acting arrogantly and being provoked by mass behavior. From the rules described above, every police officer is prohibited from committing acts of violence that violate the human rights of every participant in the demonstration.

In relation to the actions of the NP brigadier, the NP brigadier may be subject to disciplinary action in the form of a verbal/physical warning as regulated in Government Regulation Number 2 of 2003 concerning Disciplinary Regulations for Members of the Indonesian National Police and the imposition of this disciplinary action does not eliminate criminal charges if there is an action that indicates a crime committed by the police.

Indonesia as a state of law means that actions taken by police officers must be based on law. The main characteristic of a state of law is the guarantee of human rights, so that Indonesia as a state of law that guarantees human rights for citizens, all actions of the police must guarantee human rights for all Indonesian citizens.