Police Launch Internal Investigation Against Chief for Threatening Papua Protest

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian National Police Internal Affairs (Propam) on Tuesday claimed they had investigated the Malang Police Chief, Sr. Comr. Leonardus Harapantua Simarmata Permata, after he had allegedly threatened to kill a group of Papuan college students commemorating the International Women's Day.

    The Papuan Students Alliance (AMP) filed a complaint against Police chief Leonardus after the alleged incident was recorded in a video that went viral on social media. The footage shows the chief threatened to shoot at the protesters if they pass a certain physical border and said that the protesters' blood would be ‘halal’ to be shot dead. 

    “[He] has been questioned and [we are] now investigating the case to determine whether the officer involved had committed a violation,” said the Police Internal Affairs spokesperson, Sr. Comm. Ahmad Ramadhan in South Jakarta on March 23. 

    One of the notable accounts that shared the video on social media was Papuan activist Veronica Koman who shared it on March 9. In the video, the police chief can be heard warning the protesters to not exceed an established border, “If you cross that line your bloods are halal [to be shot at]! If you enter this fence then your blood is halal.”

    The lawyer representing the Papuan Students Alliance, Michael Himan, on Friday March 12, said that the Malang police chief had intentionally called for his personnel to take aim and shoot the Papuan students. 

    Michael said that the language and wording that the police chief aggressively used was highly demeaning. He maintained that a leader in a police institution should have refrained from saying such words and be able to control his emotions. 

    Read: BNPT Looks into Possibility of Labeling Papuan Armed Group as Terror Network

    ANDITA RAHMA