Jayapura, Jubi – Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman has officially joined rights NGO Amnesty International Australia as a strategic campaigner lead. Her main role is to serve as a liaison between the organization, state officials, politicians, and ambassadors in Australia.
Koman said she would tackle human rights issues in Australia and the international community. Despite joining the Australian-based NGO, Koman said she would continue advocating for the rights of the Papuan people.
“Because the level of human rights violations in Papua is already on a global scale. So, of course, I will not leave it behind,” she told Jubi on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
According to Victor Mambor, a senior Papuan journalist and a friend of Koman, Koman’s joining with Amnesty International Australia is very good for her because as a human rights defender, Koman needs an organization that can protect her.
“Especially with the terror against her parents and family that has happened several times, she needs the help of an organization based in where she lives now,” said Mambor.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights defenders Mary Lawlor issued a statement in Geneva requesting Indonesia to immediately stop threats and intimidation against Veronica Koman, who is currently in exile in Australia. Koman faces several charges in Indonesia including allegations of spreading false information aimed at inciting ethnic hatred.
Koman along with Victor Mambor, Victor Yeimo, Wenislaus Fatubu, and Yones Douw are the five human rights activists named in the UN Secretary-General’s 2021 report. Koman and her family in Indonesia have faced intimidation over Koman’s reporting on Papua, the report said.
“I urge the Indonesian government to drop the charges against Veronica Koman, immediately investigate threats and acts of intimidation against her, and bring the perpetrators to court,” Lawlor said. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Syam Terrajana