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Kontras denounces Densus 88's Aceh operations
Jakarta Globe - April 5, 2012
Densus 88 officers have been involved in the arrests of former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) officers accused in a string of attacks since the start of the year. But the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has said the charges against the former GAM members don't add up.
"We are skeptical that the former combatants were involved in [spreading] terror at the end of last year and the beginning of this year in Aceh," Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said on Wednesday.
"We suspect other groups of these charges, not [GAM]. Police have also not offered information about the case in which these people were allegedly involved."
Haris said the former GAM members did not fit the profile of terrorists. "We don't see a match from the profiles of the people arrested in Aceh. If they were combatants, they would operate in surrounding areas and not in distant locations," he said.
The counterterrorism unit arrested 31-year-old Jamaluddin and several other men on March 10 in a North Aceh subdistrict. Densus 88 officers killed Maimun, 45, in a raid in Banda Aceh on March 24 and arrested M. Ziadi, 29, on March 25.
Aceh has seen a string of shootings ahead of provincial elections scheduled for Monday, which will see voters choose a governor, 13 district heads and four mayors. A score of people have been killed and eight others injured. All of those killed originally came from outside Aceh.
Four people were killed when armed men shot at a group of workers from Setya Agung, a rubber plantation, in North Aceh on Dec. 4.
On the eve of the new year, an armed man fired on a group of Telkomsel workers as they took a break, killing three people in Bireuen. On the same day, an unidentified man shot and killed an employee at a toy store in Ulee Kareng, Banda Aceh.
On Jan. 1, five armed men opened fire on a coffee shop in North Aceh, killing one person. Two armed men shot three construction workers in Aceh Besar on Jan. 5, killing one.
Densus 88 cooperated with the Aceh Police to arrest two men in a raid at a house believed to be their hiding place in Babah Ie village, Aceh Jaya, last week.
The men were arrested for allegedly spreading terror and violence ahead of the elections. Police seized two AK-56 rifles, 138 bullets and four magazines from the two men, identified only as J., 32, and M., 33.
Aceh Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Gustav Leo said the two men were linked to the six suspects arrested in Aceh Besar and North Aceh districts on March 10. At the time of the arrests, officers seized five pipe bombs from three of the suspects.