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Indonesia Apologises, Regrets Incident With Nigerian Diplomat

A screenshot taken on August 9, 2021, shows the Nigerian diplomat being assaulted by immigration officials in Indonesia in a moving vehicle.

 

 

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry apologized Thursday for what it called a misunderstanding with of a Nigerian diplomat, and announced it had launched a formal investigation of the incident.

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

The video shows three Indonesian immigration officials pinning the diplomat, whose name has not been released, into the back seat of a moving vehicle, one holding his arm and another pushing on his head as the man screams “I can’t breathe” and “my neck, my neck.”

Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah told reporters that there had been multiple meetings with Nigerian officials since the incident, including discussions with the ambassador in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The diplomat was uncooperative and refused to turn over his documents when confronted in the lobby of an apartment building, so was taken into custody, according to Ibnu Chuldun, the head of the Jakarta branch of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, which handles immigration issues.

In the car, the man was held down after he attacked immigration officials, Chuldun alleged in a statement following the incident.

Only after being questioned at the local immigration office did the man say he was a diplomat and produce his identity documents, he said.

It was not clear who videotaped the scene nor how it leaked, but according to local Nigerian media reports, the government had confirmed the man in the video was one of its diplomats.

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

The diplomatic moves from Nigeria that followed, however, suggest that the matter was not entirely resolved.

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Written by PH

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