The Victim and Witness Protection Is a Basis for Upholding Law in Indonesia

The National Police of the Republic of Indonesia (Polri) accomplished 291,748 crimes in 2017. The number declined 181,448 crimes from 380,862 in 2016. The accomplishment could be achieved because of witnesses and victims of the crimes. However, many unresolved crimes remain since witnesses and victims are reluctant to provide information to investigators and do not get protection from various parties. In fact, the witnesses and victims often get terrors from the criminals. Noticing the fact, Office for Witness and Victim Protection (LPSK) was established on 2008 based on Law No. 13/2006 on Witness and Victim Protection.

“When crimes occurred, many parties, particularly victims, undergo a lot of detriment such as physical, financial, and psychological detriment. Witnesses are a crucial party to solve crimes. Therefore, the Republic of Indonesia founded the LPSK aiming to protecting witnesses and victims as well as assisting them to give their rights,” declared Dr. Abdul Haris Semendawai, S.H., LL.M., Head of the LPSK of the Republic of Indonesia when delivering a public lecture for Faculty of Law of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) at Meeting Hall of A.R. Fachruddin A on Friday (9/11).

Abdul stated three crimes prone to threats or intimidation against witnesses, namely terrorism, sexual violence against children, and human trafficking. He added that most of victims of human trafficking and sexual violence are afraid of reporting to the issue and public recognized it. “189 people proposed security of children’s sexual violence from January to June 2018, while the LPSK received 59 reports of human trafficking. Indeed, witnesses and victims of terrorism issues always require our protection because terrorists are not reluctant to murder them,” he informed.

Article 5 paragraph 1 mentions that witnesses and victims possess rights such as protection of themselves, their family and property, being free from threats, and giving information without being pressured, gaining information of the issue progress, hiding their identities, and getting transportation fees. “The LPSK attempts to comply with the rights of the victims and witnesses and changes someone’s identity for their safety,” told Abdul.

Additionally, the number of applicants (victims and witnesses) increases each year. There were 10 applicants in 2008, and it was accounted 1,901 applicants in 2017. They obtained medical, psychological and physical services; restitution; compensation; psychosocial facilities, and compliance of procedural rights.

“We wish that the LPSK can provide protection for witnesses and victims so that a lot of crimes noted by police can be resolved without prejudicing anyone,” expected Abdul.

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