Project description

« Stop police torture » is a project with two goals:
– investigate and call for crowdsourcing to create from scratch the first ever public database documenting police abuse in Indonesia
– visualize this data in the clearest way possible for Indonesians to understand the scale of this totally uncovered problem, widespread across all Indonesia. This issue is not covered because it is not documented, the victims do not get any trial or complaint opportunity, and as a result, although it is a widespread problem with sometimes a systematic use of torture in police stations, nobody really knows about this problem.
This means that creating a public database and visualizing the data will allow people and the authorities to finally become aware of this issue and the hundreds of victims.
And of course, this is only the start: the database will be constantly updated with new cases by Tempo’s journalists, and any Indonesian citizen will be able to submit new cases they know about, which will be fact checked by Tempo and added to the database if they happen to be real.

What makes this project innovative?

This project is innovative mostly because of the absence of police crime data in Indonesia. Whereas in some countries, visualizing police shootings and police crimes is simply about formatting and cleaning a dataset, and developing the visualization, in our case we had to build the whole dataset from scratch, and to design a crowdsourcing campaign to make sure we keep collecting ne more cases in order to document this issue as thoroughly as possible.
This is the most innovative aspect: it is not one more “police shootings” dataviz; it is an investigative effort to put an issue on the agenda, where there is no data, no documentation and no statistics. It is an attempt to create a database, which will create awareness, solidarity, community (with the crowdsourcing) effort, and hopefully political change.
Of course, this investigative aspect aside, it is a state of the art interactive datavisualisation piece, in a country where data driven journalism is still at a very early stage. This is the second innovative aspect: it is probably the first piece of its kind to be published in Indonesia.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

First, as we have just published the piece, we have to disclose that the impact mentioned here is still potential impact only. But knowing our data we are confident the impact will be there.
The first and main impact is the reaction of the authorities to the scandal of police torture: after we publish this piece, public officials won’t be able to deny this issue anymore, and will have to address it and find ways to control police violence inside police stations.
Second, we are expecting a huge societal impact with many contributions coming from all over the country. This investigation is putting words and numbers and facts behind issues that always stay undocumented and unpunished. This means many victims will take the opportunity we offer to report their cases and talk about them.
In general, we hope we will create a common awareness of this huge problem, that people now tend to ignore because they accept it as a kind of normality in Indonesia (although there are already some activists and NGO working on the issue).

Source and methodology

We collected the data through our investigations on the ground, by collecting the news coverage about some cases, and with the help of the NGO KontraS.
All the data has been cleaned and verified by our journalists.

Technologies Used

The technology is JavaScript interactive datavisulaisation.
We also added a layer of JSON in order to be able to easily update the date when we receive new verified cases.

This is another innovative aspect: the database is not a one shot project, it will stay alive and updated, and will become a got to source and tool for Indonesian citizens and authorities.

Project members

Syailendra Persada
Wayan Agus Purnomo
Antoine Laurent (International Center for Journalists)


Project owner administration

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