Jakarta wants Papua lawyer back over scholarship issue, not incitement charges

Detik News – November 19, 2019
Veronica Koman speaking in Australia (ABC Australia)
Veronica Koman speaking in Australia (ABC Australia)

Eva Safitri, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud Md says that Veronica Koman has gone back on her promise to the Indonesian government. He says that Koman should return Indonesia to accept her scholarship obligations.

“Veronica Koman is an Indonesian citizen who received a scholarship to study in Australia and has gone back on her promise to return to Indonesia as a recipient of the scholarship association, just that”, said Mahfud at the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs in Central Jakarta on Tuesday November 19.

Mahfud claims that he has already conveyed the issue of Koman’s status to the Australian government. The Indonesian government, he continued, is also in the process of ascertaining Koman’s legal rights so that she can be held accountable.

“I also said to the Australian government that if we are talking about Veronica Koman it’s not because she’s speaking out loudly [about human rights issues in Papua] in your country, but this is a legal issue for us, she must be held liable, just that right”, he said.

Koman is an Indonesian citizen who is currently residing in Australia. Koman was much discussed on social media because of posts from her Twitter account @veronicakoman. She often posted information about developments in the easternmost part of Indonesia, including tweets about an incident involving Papuan students in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya.

As a consequence of her postings the police declared Koman a suspect related to her posts about an incident at a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya. Police say that Kaman’s Twitter postings contained provocative content and were fake news. East Java provincial police chief Inspector General Luki Hermawan said that in total five of Koman’s postings were hoaxes.

Koman was declared a suspect after police conducted a case presentation. Koman had earlier been summoned as a witness in a case of alleged racism at the Papuan student dormitory. Koman however has not responded to the summons. (eva/idn)


Veronica Koman is a renowned lawyer and human rights activist who has been charged by Indonesian police with incitement and spreading fake news over information she posted on her Twitter account in September about a racist attack on a Papuan student dormitory in Surabaya and the subsequent pro-independence protests and riots in Papua. She is currently residing in Australia where she recently met with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Australian parliamentary members and was awarded the Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award by the Australian Council for International Development.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Mahfud Md: Veronica Koman Ingkar Janji Kembali ke Indonesia”.]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4790928/mahfud-md-veronica-koman-ingkar-janji-kembali-ke-indonesia