Veronica Koman Reacts to Mahfud Md's Another Dismissive Remark

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaHuman rights activist and advocate Veronica Koman responded to yet another dismissive remark conveyed by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud Md about the data of political prisoners and dead victims in Papua.

    Mahfud earlier said the data submitted by the Student Executive Board of the University of Indonesia (BEM UI) from Veronica contained vague names.

    “Those names are not obscure. They are names of human rights violations victims.  They are human beings who have dignity, not mere names,” Veronica told Tempo on Monday, February 17.

    Collected from December 4, 2018, until February 2, 2020, the data included names and ages of 243 people who died during the military operation in Nduga, Papua, with 110 of them were children. 

    In addition, the total number of political prisoners reached 57 people, who were detained across seven cities of Indonesia, viz. Jakarta, Manokwari, Jayapura, Balikpapan, Timika, Fakfak, and Sorong. The data were obtained from August 30, 2019, until December 1, 2019.

    Veronica reiterated that she deliberately kept the data short as it was intended to be submitted to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. “The president is the busiest person in Indonesia, it is impossible for him to read a thick report. So we aim to provide preliminary information to the president,” she said.

    Veronica Koman said she was waiting for the government to follow up on the initial report. Moreover, BEM UI had handed the data again to Mahfud Md. “Where should we send the report so that it will be read? And don't just read it, we are waiting for concrete follow-up actions: release political prisoners and stop military operations in Nduga,” she underlined.

    HALIDA BUNGA