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Indonesia apologizes for mistreatment of Nigerian diplomat | Q check policy


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) – The Indonesian Foreign Ministry apologized on Thursday for the mistreatment of a Nigerian diplomat and announced that it had opened a formal investigation into the incident.

Nigeria called its ambassador to Indonesia earlier this week and called Indonesia’s ambassador to Abuja for talks after a leaked video of the Saturday incident went viral on social media and sparked outrage.

The video shows three Indonesian immigration officers pinning the diplomat, whose name has not been released, in the back seat of a moving vehicle. One immigration officer holds the diplomat’s arm and another presses his head while the man yells “I can’t breathe” and “My throat, my throat”.

Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told reporters that there have been several meetings with Nigerian officials since the incident, including talks with the ambassador in Jakarta on Wednesday.

“The State Department regrets the August 7th incident,” Faizasyah said. “This is an isolated case and has no connection with the obligation of the Indonesian government in fulfilling its obligations as a host country or in accordance with the Vienna Agreement on Diplomatic Relations.”

He said the incident had been investigated by the Department of Justice and Human Rights, which oversees immigration authorities, but did not provide details of the results or answered questions.

Nigeria released a statement Tuesday expressing “outrage” at the incident and saying the government “strongly condemns what is indeed a monstrous international crime”.

The Nigerian Foreign Ministry said it had called on the Indonesian ambassador to “protest vigorously” and had called his ambassador back to Indonesia for consultations, “including a review of bilateral relations”.

However, it was not clear whether Ambassador Usman Ogah ever left Indonesia, as he was personally present at the talks in Jakarta on Wednesday, according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

According to Indonesian authorities, the diplomat was picked up by immigration officials after receiving a lead on a group of foreigners whose permits had expired.

The diplomat was not cooperative and refused to release his documents when confronted in the lobby of an apartment building, and was reported by Ibnu Chuldun, head of the Jakarta Department of Justice and Human Rights in charge of immigration , custody subjects.

The man was held in the car after attacking immigration officials, Chuldun said in a post-incident statement.

Only after questioning the local immigration office did the man declare that he was a diplomat and that he presented his identification papers, he said.

Chuldun said the incident was “amicably” resolved the same day after the Nigerian ambassador personally came to the immigration service to intervene.

“Both parties have admitted that there was a misunderstanding and agreed to make peace,” said Chuldun.

However, Nigeria’s subsequent diplomatic moves indicate that the matter was not fully resolved.

——— Rising reports from Bangkok.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.


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