A local resident has come forward to offer his side of the story following a viral video showing uniformed military officers assaulting two civilians in Bali’s Buleleng regency, claiming that he wasn’t resisting when the abuse took place.
After the video sparked outrage online, the Indonesian Military (TNI) said the incident in Sidetapa village, Buleleng regency was triggered by a civilian hitting a commander. The clip showed a bunch of officers ganging up on two civilians, some of them hitting and kicking on the men.
One of the men, a 24-year-old resident identified as DI, said the incident began as he was heading home with a friend and stumbled upon an ongoing tracing and testing event in Sidetapa. DI had forgotten to wear a mask, and said his path was immediately blocked by military officers. He tried to get away as he was afraid of being sanctioned under Bali’s mandatory mask rule.
DI said that he tried to evade the officers several times, but at one point an officer managed to get in their way and started hitting his friend, identified as AG.
“No idea why [the soldier] was angry and started hitting, choking, and then I was dragged about 30 meters to the location. While I was dragged I was also kicked from behind, even though I wasn’t resisting. But they kept on kicking me,” DI said, as quoted by Kompas.
Soon, DI’s uncle and brother also got involved to try and help him, but military officers allegedly also assaulted them, with DI’s younger brother reportedly sustaining a wound on his lips during the altercation.
“They said I hit the officers [with my motorbike]. There’s no way that happened, if I did then I would’ve fallen. So [their story is] very different from what actually happened. They say I ganged up on the officers, but I wasn’t even resisting, there were witnesses,” DI said, adding that he hopes that the officers involved in the incident will be punished accordingly.
Windra Lisrianto, a Military District Commander in Buleleng regency, previously alleged that the men on a motorbike refused to be tested and rammed their vehicle into an officer, leading to a chase and altercation. Windra said his head was smacked from behind, adding that the viral clip showed an incomplete version of the incident.
I Gede Sumarjaya, a spokesman from Buleleng Police, said that a mediation effort led by Buleleng Police Chief Andrian Pramudianto took place yesterday. This morning, however, Windra’s decision to press charges against an unidentified Sidetapa resident remains, with Sumarjaya confirming that a previous agreement to settle the case amicably has dissolved.