Security chief belittles Papua document, says their own data more complete

CNN Indonesia – February 18, 2020
Coordinating minister for security Mahfud MD – Undated (Antara)

Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD has stated that he is not interested in further examining the document containing data on Papuan political prisoners and people who died due to the conflict in Nduga, Papua, because they are incomplete. Mahfud claims that the government already has more comprehensive information along with biographies.

The document referred to by Mahfud was given to him by a representative of the University of Indonesia Student Representative Council (BEM UI) when he attended an event at the university on Monday February 17.

“There’s no need to examine it. If indeed it exists, the data is also held by the authorised government office. It’s just an info-graphic, we have a more complete list, a list of biographies”, said Mahfud at the presidential office on Tuesday February 18.

Mahfud said he isn’t going to get upset about the BEM UI’s disappointment over his attitude. He insists that the document only contains names without detailed explanations on the cases which are cited. Meanwhile, said Mahfud, police already have the data.

“You gave us a list of names of political prisoners, they may well be just common criminals. All of it has been recorded by Polri [the Indonesian police], it’s not there [in the document], just inconsequential things. It’s already been recorded by the police, why did you give us a thing like that”, he said.

Mahfud however also claimed he could not confirm if the names of the victims in the document from BEM UI have already been recorded by police repeating that the data handed over by BEM UI was incomplete. According to Mahfud, the police will check and reconcile the names against the data they already have.

“They (BEM UI) only cited the names and ages. Later it will be checked by the police to confirm if there is a legal basis or if indeed they are criminals or political prisoners, Papuans or not. All of it will defiantly be accounted for”, he said.

Earlier, the BEM UI admitted to being disappointed by Mahfud’s attitude over the documents containing the names of Papuan political prisoners. They said that Mahfud’s attitude when he accepted the documents at the UI campus was different from his attitude off campus.

Off campus, Mahfud referred to the Papua document as just being a document and not of any consequence. Meanwhile when BEM UI handing the documents over directly to Mahfud at UI he examined them and glanced over the document’s contents. (psp/wis)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Tak Periksa Data Papua, Mahfud Klaim Punya yang Lebih Lengkap”.]