Rezki Alvionitasari, Jakarta – Jakarta Legal Aid (LBH Jakarta) public defender Muhammad Rasyid Ridha Saragih said that communication with human rights lawyer Veronica Koman is at the bare minimum as she is currently undergoing her studies overseas. Veronica was recently named by Indonesian Police as a suspect in relation to the Papua unrest.
"It is highly possible that [Veronica] will be accompanied by the civil society coalition if for instance she returns to Indonesia and gets nabbed by police," said Muhammad Rasyid regarding Veronica who was once actively involved in legal aid's activities.
In what some consider as a controversial move, the Indonesian National Police (Polri) named Veronica suspect in the alleged case of hoax spreading of the incident in the Papuan students' dormitory in Surabaya mid-August, which was eventually followed by massive public unrest in Papua.
Police are charging Veronica with multiple legal charges under the criminal law (KUHP) and the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law as she was deemed responsible for perpetuating and provoking what would later be a national incident.
Moreover, Muhammad Rasyid deemed police's naming as a form of criminalization against human rights activists and defenders. He also called the police's move as a trick to curb Veronica from speaking in an international forum.
"Even if Veronica is charged for spreading a hoax and other sorts, the pieces of evidence presented by the government can be easily rebuffed since Veronica's Tweets were backed by pieces of evidence and legit news as comparisons," said LBH Jakarta's public defender.