TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md clarified his remark that data on the victims of human rights violations in Papua reported by Veronica Koman was trash. Mahfud said there was a misinterpretation on his statement.
When met at his office on Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Central Jakarta, today, Mahfud underlined that what he meant about the 'trash' was the advocate’s saying that she had handed the data to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo directly in Australia.
“The trash [I meant] is the information that Veronica had handed the letter to the President,” Mahfud said Thursday, Feb. 13.
He asserted that Veronica was not there and delivered the document as he accompanied Jokowi during the latter’s state visit in Australia. He admitted the President received many letters there, yet they were not read instantly at the spot.
“People were trying to hand letters, some handed out old photos with the President, some wanted a handshake,” Mahfud said.
Many human rights activists condemned Mahfud’s statement about data on political prisoners and the dead victims in Papua that Veronica Koman claimed to have been handed by her team to the President on Monday, February 10.
An advocate for Papuans political prisoners Gustaf Kawer even demanded Jokowi dismiss the Coordinating Minister because of the latter’s comment. “The President must evaluate and replace [Mahfud Md] with state officials who concern about humanity and Papuan issues if necessary,” said Gustaf to Tempo today.
EGI ADYATAMA | AHMAD FAIZ