Originally posted by AThousandYoung
[b]is this sort of corruption and abuse by the police common in Indonesia and if so can anything be done about it? [/b]
Yes it's fairly common. It has improved, to a degree. Changing the 'corporate culture' of the police is a horribly slow process, possibly a generational thing. Overt, ostentatious abuse like that described in the OP was more common under the Soeharto dictatorship but, at the same time, it was far less likely to to have been reported.
Unclear land rights and resulting land grabs by developers/government offices who want land that is being lived on and/or worked by 'poor people' back since anyone can remember, is an ugly ongoing thing here. When you see, from time to time, a whole neighbourhood accidentally
burn down in (say) Jakarta, expect to see a shopping mall there 2 years later.
My penny's worth is that the officers in the Bengkulu case will be in trouble behind closed doors for not nailing this enforcement job in a more discreet way, as gangsters should. No need for showy intimidation and retribution. The hidden hand, while not always so hidden, ought not be as unhidden as this, etc.