Wiranto: I will Personally Arrest Benny Wenda If He Returns

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Laila Afifa

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  • Coordinating Security Minister Wiranto holds a press conference on the latest developments in Papua at his ministry's building in Jakarta on Monday, September 2, 2019. ANTARA

    Coordinating Security Minister Wiranto holds a press conference on the latest developments in Papua at his ministry's building in Jakarta on Monday, September 2, 2019. ANTARA

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law, and Security Affairs Wiranto declared that he would personally arrest the leader of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Benny Wenda, if he decides to return to Indonesia.

    Benny is considered to be the instigator behind the widespread protests across numerous areas in Papua and West Papua the past three weeks.

    “I, or rather, we will arrest him [once he enters Indonesia]. We will process him,” he said at his headquarters in Central Jakarta on Wednesday, September 4.

    Benny claimed political asylum in the UK in 2002, where he currently lives. The minister says this further adds to the complexity of the situation in terms of legally processing his actions that the Indonesian government objects and deems a violation.

    “The process is not as simple as we think once the person is no longer an Indonesian national and is under other countries' political asylum,” said the former military commander.

    He says that significant actions via diplomacy are needed to investigate the case that involves Benny Wenda as authorities must heed to existing international laws. Wiranto argues that most Indonesian authorities could do is to suppress Benny’s influence and flow of information.

    EGI ADYATAMA