Thirteen Police Officers Fall Victim to Mob Violence in 2013: IPW
In the first three months of this year, a total of 13 police officers fell victim to violence, the Indonesia Police Watch chairman said on Monday, just days after two police officers were killed. “In 2013 so far, only three months have passed by and there have been 13 police members who were mobbed and slashed, two of whom have died. The latest case is the mobbing against Dolok Pardamean subdistrict police chief Adj. Comr. Andar Siahaan, which led to his death,” said IPW chairman Neta S. Pane.
He said that in first quarter of the year, six policeman were attacked by mobs and seven others were slashed with blades. Five of the victims were police officers while the rest were troopers. According to IPW data, 29 police officers were killed and 14 were injured in 2012, up from 20 police officers killed in 2011.
He attributed the violence to several factors, including low awareness of the law, the discriminatory attitudes of police officers and the lack of training on gathering evidence properly. “Considering these conditions, members of the National Police should improve the quality of their training so that they can become more professional. In the future, the public will increasingly be desperate in their actions, considering the complex socio-economic problems they face,” he said.
Indigenous Colombians free soldiers held for 24 hours
A group of indigenous Colombians has let go three soldiers it had been holding for 24 hours. Members of the Nasa tribe surrounded the soldiers, whom they suspect of shooting dead one of their leaders. The Nasa agreed to free them after the army promised to thoroughly investigate the death of Alvaro Chocue. The soldiers said Mr Chocue was shot in crossfire between them and left-wing rebels, but the Nasa suspect he was killed at an army checkpoint. Members of the Nasa indigenous guard formed a circle around the three soldiers in the town of Caldono, in south-western Colombia, where they held them for a night and a day. There has been tension between the Nasa and the military since last July, when the indigenous group demanded that all armed men leave their land, be they left-wing rebels, right-wing paramilitaries, police or army.
After the army refused to leave, the indigenous guard dragged a group of soldiers from their post on Cerro Berlin mountain, prompting the deployment of riot police. Cauca province is a rebel stronghold and the army says its presence there is key. But the indigenous group says army checkpoints are a magnet for rebel attacks, heightening the chance of the Nasa being caught in crossfire.
Moroccans protest high unemployment rate, living costs
Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, to protest against the country’s high unemployment rate and cost of living. On Sunday, protesters marched through Rabat to demonstrate against the high jobless rate and growing expenses amid government plans to move ahead with social and economic reforms. Police officials say some 3,000 people gathered in peaceful protest, marching towards the parliament building in central Rabat. In the march organized by two trade unions, protesters chanted slogans against the government’s policies, demanding their “rights and freedoms,” AFP reported.
Activists from the February 20 movement also took part in the march. Witnesses say the protesters accused Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane of pushing Morocco into a “ravine.” Last December, people took to the streets to protest at high water and electricity prices. Many were injured in subsequent clashes. Anti-government protests broke out in Morocco on February 20, 2011. Morocco’s King Mohammed VI announced some reforms following the rallies, amending the Constitution to curtail his powers and hold early elections. The protesters, however, say the reforms do not go far enough. The country has been facing serious economic troubles over the past few years, with high unemployment rate and rising levels of poverty.