The North Jakarta Police have charged a group of men who allegedly burned a 42-year-old transgender woman to death with aggravated assault.
A total of six suspects face charges under Article 170 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates that individuals who are found to have collectively used lethal violence against a person face 12 years in prison.
The police had apprehended three of the six suspects, identified only as AP, RT and AH, as of Thursday afternoon.
The violence purportedly took place in Cilincing after the suspects accused Mira of stealing a truck driver’s phone and wallet. The truck driver had parked his vehicle near Mira’s rented room.
North Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Budhi Herdi Susianto said the suspects hit her with a wooden log before dousing gasoline all over her so that she would confess to the alleged theft. They then proceeded to pull out a lighter with the intention of threatening her, he said.
He said fire from the lighter inadvertently set off the gasoline, burning the victim alive.
Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid conveyed his disappointment in the authorities’ “lackluster” investigation of the murder, which he said only resulted in a relatively light assault charge.
“We still maintain that what the suspects did was carry out a despicable murder. The police should have conducted a more robust investigation, instead of taking the suspects at their word,” Usman told the Post on Thursday.
He said the suspects obviously intended to “do more than just threaten” Mira, as they had gone out of their way to procure gasoline beforehand.