NTB Regional Police allegedly forced a student to make false video statement about West Papua

A video published on YouTube has revealed a further case of media manipulation in the context of West Papua. The video was published on 25 June 2020 and shows the statement of a boy introducing himself as Bertus from Wamena, who studies in the city of Mataram, Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat province. In the video message, Bertus encourages all Papuans to love the Unitary State of Indonesia (Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, NKRI). The video was shared by the Public Relations Department of the Nusa Tenggara Barat Regional Police (Polda NTB) on Instagram to promote the Indonesian unitary state doctrine and counter media information in support of political self-determination for West Papua.

The video message is followed by an explanatory video in which Bertus apologizes for the content of the video shared by the police. He clarifies that his real name is Rian Faot from the city of Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, a student of the Astamar Theological College in Mataram. He claims that Polda NTB member forced him to make the video statement under a false identity.

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