Indonesia: Crowd attacks prosecutor’s office after man dies in custody

August 7: A crowd on Monday went on the rampage at the Pancur Batu District Prosecutor’s Office in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, following the death of a detainee who was allegedly prevented from receiving treatment for his illness because his family could not afford to pay a sum of money to prosecutors.

Members of the crowd, most of them relatives of the victim, vandalized the prosecutor’s office, smashing a number of glass panes, searching for prosecutors, and chasing a number of them who were passing through the office.

The victim’s relatives were enraged with the prosecutors because they were deemed responsible for the death of Rison Ginting, alias Icon, 30, who was found dead in his cell at the Pancur Batu District Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday.

Relatives and a crowd of hundreds carried Rison’s body to the prosecutor’s office on Monday. He was being detained for a drug-related case.

Before he died, he was reported to be ill and requiring medical attention.

A family member, Susi, said that two days before Rison passed away, he appeared sick in his detention cell, but did not receive treatment. She added that Rison’s family had requested permission from one of prosecutors that he be taken to hospital. However, Susi explained that the family’s request was rejected because the family was not able to meet the prosecutor’s demands.

“The prosecutor demanded Rp 10 million (US$1,060), but we could only afford to give Rp 5 million. The prosecutor rejected that and returned the money we had given him,” said Susi, adding that the prosecutor who demanded the money had the initials CS.

During the protest at the Pancur Batu District Prosecutor’s Office, the victim’s family searched for CS, but he was not found at the office. As the family members became angrier, one of them cut his own finger and wiped his blood on CS’ name board.

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