Indonesian immigration officials recently arrested and allegedly assaulted a Nigerian consular official based in Jakarta, according to a short video clip of the incident which went viral online this week, Nigeria’s Premium Times online newspaper reported Tuesday.
The video footage shows a Nigerian consular officer, identified by the BBC on Tuesday as Abdulrahman Ibrahim, in the backseat of a car being held down by three men while a fourth person films the incident. Ibrahim breathes in deeply and then shouts out loudly throughout the one-minute and 30-second long clip, despite occasionally claiming he “can’t breathe.”
One of the immigration officials uses his hand to press Ibrahim’s head against the head restraint of his seat, though the immigration official’s hand is placed on the side of Ibrahim’s head, and not anywhere near his neck. Ibrahim’s neck and mouth remain completely untouched by the immigration officials for the duration of the video clip, despite the Nigerian repeatedly yelling out, “My neck.”
It remains unclear under what exact circumstances the video clip was recorded or when.
“Mr Ibrahim had been detained on a street in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta [prior to the incident filmed inside the car],” the BBC reported on August 10, without elaborating.
Neither the BBC nor the Premium Times reported on the background context that ostensibly led to Ibrahim’s arrest.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the incident “unacceptable and unfortunate” in a statement issued Monday. The Ministry summoned Indonesia’s envoy to Nigeria on August 9 to discuss the altercation.
“The Nigerian Government has complained strongly to the Government of Indonesia, and the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria was summoned by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs,” the Nigerian foreign ministry said.
Indonesia’s envoy to Nigeria “explained what he understood happened and apologised unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia,” according to the statement.
Indonesian immigration officials “also apologised to Nigeria’s ambassador to Indonesia,” according to the press release.
“The Ambassador of Nigeria to Indonesia has confirmed that the immigration official involved had since come to the Nigerian Embassy to apologise to the Ambassador and the diplomat concerned,” Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The Nigerian government has requested its ambassador to Indonesia return to Nigeria “to give a full report” about the incident to relevant officials, the BBC revealed on Tuesday. Nigeria’s foreign ministry “says consultations [with Indonesia] will continue” over the matter.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a formal letter of protest to Jakarta this week saying the physical altercation between its consular officer and Indonesian immigration officials was “against international law and the Vienna Conventions governing diplomatic and consular relations between states.”