September 5, 2019
Indonesian police have asked Interpol to help track down an Indonesian human rights lawyer — understood to be living in Australia — who is facing charges of having “incited” recent violent protests across West Papua.
East Java police on Wednesday booked VK, believed to be lawyer Veronica Koman, as a suspect for incitement following riots in East Java, Papua and West Papua since August 18.
Police say they have sufficient evidence taken from her Twitter account and statements from people in Papua confirming that she was very active in relaying information related to Papua. “We first called VK in as a suspect but she didn’t show up. We believe she is abroad so we will work with the national intelligence agency and Interpol to apprehend her,” East Java police chief Luki Hermawan said in Surabaya.
Ms Koman was not physically in Papua during the riots but “proactively provoked the public” through her Twitter account, a police spokesman said.
Police referred to her August 18 tweet calling out “monkeys to fill the streets of Jayapura” after an incident the day before saw Papuan students in Surabaya verbally abused by civilians.
Ms Koman would be the third suspect booked for inciting violence after police questioned two others for allegedly hurling racial abuse and intimidating a group of Papuan students at a dormitory in Surabaya, East Java.
The Legal Aid Institute in Jakarta has strongly “condemned” this latest move by the police.