Papua Police refutes lawyer's report on political prisoners

Papua Police refutes lawyer's report on political prisoners

Papua Police Chief Insp.Gen Paulus Waterpauw (center). (ANTARA/Hendrina Dian Kandipi/sh)

I firmly state that Miss Veronica Koman's statement on 57 political prisoners is untrue
Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua Police rejected a report detailing deaths of 57 political prisoners and 243 civilians in Papua since December 2018, submitted by Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman and fellow activists to President Joko Widodo recently. The report was untrue and distorted as the 57 prisoners were criminals, Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen Paulus Waterpauw confirmed here Friday.

"I firmly state that Miss Veronica Koman's statement on 57 political prisoners is untrue," Waterpauw said.

The police had handled all issues professionally and, therefore, it should not be linked to a political issue, he reiterated.

"She should not collect unclear data from Australia then throw them into the public domain (in Indonesia)," he said.

He challenged Koman to crosscheck her data with the Papua Police' data, saying that it would be fallacious if she conveyed something about Papua without her presence in the province. East Java Police have officially put Veronica Koman on its wanted person’s list and submitted a red corner notice to Interpol to help capture her overseas.

Police have declared Veronica a suspect, accusing her of spreading false information and provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua by publishing reports on the protests and attacks against Papuan students in East Java.

"The unrest (in West Papua) that led to the arrest of 57 people was an impact of a racism case in East Java," Waterpauw elaborated.

The racism case was used by armed criminal groups to ignite unrest in Papua that eventually claimed lives, he added.

Her team in Canberra had handed over letters to Jokowi directly during his meeting with the Australian government officials in the neighboring country’s capital, Koman claimed.

The letters included the names and locations of 57 political prisoners charged with treason and put behind bars in seven cities across Indonesia, as well as the names and ages of 243 civilians who had died during the Nduga military operation since December 2018, she said. (INE)


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