Security chief Mahfud dismisses Papuan political prisoner data as ‘rubbish’

Detik News – February 11, 2020
Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud Md – Undated (Detik)

Andhika Prasetia – Human rights activists Veronica Koman, who is currently in Australia, handed over data on political prisoners and victims of the conflict in Papua to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo via her team during his visit to Canberra on Sunday.

Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD has spoken out on the issue.

“On the question of Koman I know there were a lot of documents and letters. People competed with each other to greet [Widodo], it was astonishing, and gave him folders, letters in envelopes. So [we had] no dealings with Koman because [we] brought back lots of documents”, said Mahfud at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday February 11.

Mahfud said that he doesn’t know if the document has been opened yet or not. Although he said that if the document does indeed exist it was just “rubbish”.

“The document probably hasn’t been opened yet. There were letters and documents from many people. Ordinary people can also send letters to the president. If indeed it does exist, it’s just rubbish”, he said.

Through her Twitter account Koman said that her team handed over the document directly to Widodo when he was in Canberra, Australia. Koman said that the document contained the names and location of Papuan political prisoners.

“Our team in Canberra succeeded in handing the documents over directly to President Jokowi. The documents contained the names and locations of 57 Papuan political prisoners who have been charged with makar (treason, subversion, rebellion), who are currently incarcerated in seven cities across Indonesia”, said Koman.

Koman explained that it was not her who handed the documents over to Widodo.

“In my press release I wrote that I issued the release from Sydney city, while President Jokowi was in Canberra. I never claimed to have met with President Jokowi”, said Koman. (dkp/zlf)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Tim Veronica Koman Beri Data Korban Papua ke Jokowi, Mahfud: Sampah Itu”.]