Senator the Hon Marise Payne
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6100
Senate, Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
10 November 2021
Dear Foreign Minister,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney.
We are concerned about a number of attacks on the home (in Indonesia) of the parents of Veronica Koman.
Veronica Koman is an Indonesian human rights lawyer who lives in Australia. Because of her role in defending West Papuan human rights defenders, political prisoners and activists, she has become a target of the Indonesian authorities who at one stage threatened to ask Interpol to issue a red notice against her, simply because she was raising awareness about the ongoing human rights abuses in West Papua.
There have being ongoing threats and intimidation, not only against Veronica but against her parents and family in Indonesia. These threats have escalated recently with attacks on her parents' home in Indonesia, on the 24th October and most recently the 7th November.
Amnesty International has reported (9 November) that:
"On the morning of 7 November, two unidentified men on a motorcycle threw three packages into the garage of the house of Veronica Koman's parents in Jakarta. At least two of the packages exploded, scattering bits of paper and red paint in the garage. The other package contained a typed message threatening to attack Veronica and her supporters. Around the same time, another package was left at the house of one of Veronica's relatives. The package contained a chicken carcass and a message threatening that anyone who hides Veronica will meet the same fate as the chicken."
On 24th October there was an arson attack outside the house of her parents although there were no injuries reported.
Amnesty International Indonesia's Executive Director Usman Hamid described the recent attack as "an unconscionable attack that has frightened and traumatized two older people". "The authorities must immediately carry out a thorough, transparent, impartial and independent investigation of the incident and ensure the safety of Veronica Koman's parents.
We urge you to use your good offices with the Indonesian Government also asking that the Indonesian Government conduct an investigation into the attacks against Veronika's family and that the police investigation must be impartial and subject to independent oversight.
CC. Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs