Police officers kill suspected drug dealer in Sorong

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Members of the Sorong District Police Anti Drug Unit have shot dead Indra Wijaya Taran, a student of Unikom University in Yogyakarta (see intro image). Several Indonesian media outlets published articles on the incident which occurred on 21 January 2019, at 10.00 pm, in Pramuka Road, Sorong City. According to the police, Indra Wijayah Taran was dealing drugs and attacked several police officers trying to arrest him. Indra allegedly pulled out a knife. The officers claim they used their fire arms in an act of self defense. Indra Wijaya Taran died due to blood loss shortly after his admission to the Mutiara Hospital.

The Sorong district police chief, Dewa Made Sidan Sutrahna, stated in an interview that his men had released two warning shots before they took an aimed shot at Indra Taran, as it is required under the Indonesian criminal procedure code law KUHAP. This statement is contrary to the bullet wounds sustained by Indra Taran during the police operation. The bullet pierced Indra’s chest from back to front, which would indicate that Indra was attempting to escape the arrest instead of attacking the officers with a knife. The collected evidence of 2 grams of methamphetamine, a lighter and a smoking pipe support the fact that Indra Wijaya Taran was a drug user rather than a drug dealer. Indra’s family members and their lawyer have requested an internal police investigation against the law enforcement officers.

On 28 January 2019, activists launched a peaceful demonstration in Sorong city, demanding the prosecution of the perpetrators. The protest was forcefully dispersed by police members. One protester named Muhammad Lubis was arrested and released later on the same day.