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A series of bomb blasts and shootings that rocked Jakarta this morning have killed at least seven people, five of whom were suspected attackers. The armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has reportedly claimed responsibility.

In response to the attacks Josef Benedict, Amnesty International Southeast Asia and Pacific Deputy Campaigns Director, said:

“Today’s attack shows an utter disregard for the right to life. This is sadly not the first time Indonesians have seen their loved ones killed in horrific attacks by extremist groups who use bloodshed to further their despicable aims.

“The Indonesian authorities must conduct a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the attack and ensure that all those involved in planning and carrying out this attack are brought to justice in fair trials without the recourse to the death penalty.

“In order to break the cycle of violence, it is vital that these unlawful killings are met with proportionate and legal steps rather than a harsh clampdown by the security forces whose track record on human rights is patchy at best. Indonesia has a long history of dealing with violent extremism and today’s deplorable attacks must not be used as a pretext to rollback freedoms in the name of security.”  

Amnesty International has documented cases in Indonesia in recent years of arbitrary arrests followed by torture and other ill-treatment during the arrest, detention and interrogation by the police, including by the counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88. However, there are rarely independent and impartial investigations into such allegations, and the perpetrators are not held to account.