The Head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia DKI Jakarta Ibnu Chuldun has responded to a viral video that alleges immigration officers manhandled and attacked a Nigerian diplomat.
The man visited the immigration office on Saturday 7th August and his experience has since gone viral on social media. However, according to Ibnu, it was the Nigerian diplomat who acted arrogantly and was the first to attack immigration officers.
“It was the Nigerian foreigner who beat our officers while on their way to the immigration office. The person concerned was brought to the office for being uncooperative by rebuking the officer who was checking documents and even challenging him to be arrested,” Ibnu said in a statement to reporters, Tuesday 10th August.
“As a result of the beating, one of our officers suffered a swollen and bleeding wound on the left lip and this can be proven from the results of the medical investigation carried out on our officers. After the beating, our officers then held the foreigner,” Ibnu continued.
In response to the video, he said, “So, what is seen in the video instead, is our officers trying to prevent the Nigerian foreigner from committing violence or anything he doesn’t want.”
WARNING: Some viewers may find this video distressing
As explained by Ibnu, this incident began when a report was received by officers regarding a group of foreign nationals who allegedly had expired residence permits and were staying at a hotel in South Jakarta. Officers attended the location where the foreigners were staying with a suspicion that they were planning to hold a party at the hotel on Saturday afternoon.
The hotel staff advised immigration officers that the foreigners had checked out and moved to an apartment in South Jakarta. Officers then went to the apartment and found a foreigner in the apartment lobby.
“When the officer asked for his passport and identity, the foreigner was angry and did not want to hand over the documents. He also rebuked the officer and even challenged him to be detained. Because he was uncooperative, he was finally taken to the immigration office,” Ibnu said.
“On the way to the office, the officer in question hit our officer so he had to be restrained. He kept shouting all the way until he arrived at the immigration office, where he was still screaming. In fact, the officers did not use violence against him. After being questioned, he finally admitted that he was a diplomat and handed over a diplomatic card of the Nigerian Embassy,” he said.
Ibnu said that he hopes the clarification from immigration clears up the various accusations against his team. He went on to say that the problem had been resolved amicably after the Nigerian Ambassador Ari Usman Ogah visited the South Jakarta Immigration Office in the evening, accompanied by police officers.
“This incident really didn’t need to happen if the foreigner had been cooperative with the officers from the start and was open about his status as a diplomat. We hope that this explanation can, at the same time, clarify the accusations circulating on social media against our officers,” said Ibnu.
“After the mediation process and listening to the chronology of events from both parties, finally, that evening, the officer and the foreigner agreed to settle amicably. Both parties acknowledged that there had been a misunderstanding and agreed to make peace, as witnessed by the Head of the South Jakarta Immigration Office and the Nigerian Ambassador,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Nigerian news reports that the Foreign Ministry in the country received an apology from the Indonesian Ambassador, who was summoned to the ministry following the incident.
“The Nigerian Government has complained strongly to the Government of Indonesia, and the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria was summoned by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs,” said a statement from the Nigerian Foreign Ministry on Monday 10th August.
“The Ambassador explained what he understood happened and apologised unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia. The Nigerian Government has sent an official protest to the Government of Indonesia,” continued the statement.