Nigerian Diplomat Incident : A Review from the Perspective of International Law
By: Keisha Annisa Putri, Emyr Zaki Satyareswara, and Muhamad Harli Unanda
We tend to see the ideal condition of freedom, and world peace around the globe as the perception of a world without violence, in which nations attempt to cooperate with one another. Equal human rights, technology, free education for all, engineering, the availability of medication, diplomacy, or an end to all types of conflict might all contribute to world peace. Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry apologized for the immigration officers maltreating a Nigerian diplomat they suspect was staying illegally. Abdurrahman İbrahim, a Nigerian consular officer, primarily based in Jakarta, was captured on a well-known video showing three immigration officials pinning the diplomat inside a car. In line with Indonesian authorities, the Nigerian embassy official did not show his identity files during a periodic checking in South Jakarta1. The diplomat turned into uncooperative or even rebuked the immigration officers. Ibnu Chuldun, the top of the Jakarta branch of the Ministry of law and Human Rights, stated and delivered that Mr. Ibrahim was held down in the automobile after he attacked immigration officials utilizing shouting, biting, elbowing, and trying to break vehicle windows due to the fact they did not inform him wherein he might be taken to. Mr. Chuldun stated one of the immigration officers was injured in his lips, forcing them to restrain the diplomat to prevent more assaults. Later, he produced his identification documents.
The unwarranted attack on a Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia is reprehensible. The unprovoked and condemnable attack on the Nigerian has similarly underlined the need for Nigeria authorities to make sure that its citizens abroad are accorded the deserved admiration in their international host locations. In the strongest terms, the Nigerian government condemns what is in effect an egregious act of international delinquency by Indonesian state actors against an accredited representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with absolutely no justification and against international law,” it said in a statement2.
International netizens have said the assault on Ibrahim is reminiscent of George Floyd’s treatment in the United States (US) by racist white policemen, which led to the death of the black American. It is said that the Nigerian diplomat was treated as if he was a criminal. Many Americans have supported the Nigerian diplomat and other well-meaning global citizens condemn in strong terms the barbaric action of the Indonesian officials.
The assault on the Nigerian diplomat is against international law and the 1961 Vienna Conventions governing Diplomatic and Consular Relations between States. Article 29 of the Convention specifically states: “The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable.” Also, Article 29 states that the person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom, or dignity. Therefore, Article 29 accommodates the individual wellbeing of a representative3. On account of Respublica v De Longchamps, it was expressed that "the individual of a public minister is sacrosanct and untouched. Whoever offers any brutality as far as he might be concerned, not only affronts the Sovereign he addresses, yet additionally harms the normal security and prosperity between the countries. He is at real fault for the wrongdoing against the entire world"4. Global law takes a genuine perspective on any infringement of the individual insusceptibility delighted in by emissaries. Many states have outlined laws which seriously rebuff people acting infringing upon this standard of assurance. The unfamiliar state to which a conciliatory agent is licensed has an obligation to find quick ways to arraign the offender.
The Vienna Convention on the Law of treaties is a worldwide attention directing arrangements between states. Known as the "treaties on treaties”, it sets up comprehensive rules, methods, and rules for how settlements are characterized, drafted, corrected, translated. The present Convention applies to treaties between States. The provisions of paragraph 1 regarding the use of terms in the present Convention are without prejudice to the use of those terms or to the meanings which may be given to them in the internal law of any State.
Nevertheless, some Indonesian citizens react horrendously towards this issue and blame the Nigerian diplomat instead for his unpleasant mannerism. However, citizens think that the immigration officers from South Jakarta Immigration Office were carrying out surveillance functions on foreigners. When they asked Mr Abdulrahman for identification, he refused to identify himself or tender his passport, the official said.
However, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations does not regulate penalties for the violence. The penalty to this matter is left entirely to the country concerned. For the equation, authors will review another case which is similar to the Nigerian diplomat incident. In 2015, US Ambassador Mark Lippert was slashed on the face and wrist by a man wielding a knife with a 10-inch blade and screaming that the rival Koreas should be unified. The attack on the United States Ambassador in South Korea was carried out by South Korean civil society by Kim Ki-Jong, a South Korean citizen who is a member of the Korean nationalist society. Kim attacked with a political motive, namely as a protest against joint military exercises that will be carried out by South Korea and the United States. Kim did not agree with the military drills because he thought South Korea could unite with North Korea, with military exercises damaging South-North Korea relations. Therefore, Kim attacked Lippert, who was then the American ambassador to South Korea, as an act of protest.5
Based on the internationally agreed provisions in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the attack on the United States Ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert by South Korean civilians has clearly failed to implement the provisions in article 29 of the 1961 Vienna Convention, namely every Diplomatic Representative the receiving state has the right to be treated with respect and the receiving state must prevent any attack on his body, freedom, or dignity, in other words, that diplomatic representatives must be protected from all kinds of things that threaten him, and South Korea is negligent to fulfill the prevention of attacks to the body, freedom, and dignity of diplomatic representatives. South Korea is responsible for restitution by paying for treatment to recover as before as well as by apologizing and taking the perpetrators of the attack with a prison sentence of 12 years.
Protected individuals are entitled to respect for their person, honor, family rights, religious views and practices, and manners and traditions under all situations. They must be treated humanely at all times, and they must be safeguarded from any acts of violence or threats of violence, as well as insults and public curiosity. The legal systems differ substantially in terms of how penalties are administered, as well as in terms of societal and judicial understanding of the necessity of effective, proportionate, and dissuasive punishments in discrimination cases. As a result, one form of penalty may be the most effective, proportional, and dissuasive in one country while being ineffective in another. Another factor that influences the appropriateness, proportionality, and efficacy of a tangible penalty is the victim's perspective.
 Yusuf, K. (2021). Indonesian ambassador meets Onyeama, defends assault on Nigerian diplomat. from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/478991-indonesian-ambassador-meets-onyeama-defends-assault-on-nigerian-diplomat.html
 Toromade, S. (2021). Nigeria recalls Ambassador to Indonesia after officials assaulted diplomat. from https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/nigeria-recalls-ambassador-to-indonesia-after-officials-assaulted-diplomat/g0dxwvd
 Denza, E. (2021). Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. From https://legal.un.org/avl/ha/vcdr/vcdr.html
 RESPUBLICA v. DE LONGCHAMPS, 1 U.S. 111 (1784). (2021).from https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/1/111/
 Agato Kevindito Josesa, et al. 2016. “Tanggung Jawab Negara Terhadap Perlindungan Pejabat Diplomat Menurut Konvensi Wina 1961 (Studi Kasus Penyerangan Duta Besar Amerika Serikat di Korea Selatan)”. Diponegoro Law Journal. Volume 5 Number 3. 2016.
Yusuf, K. (2021). Indonesian ambassador meets Onyeama, defends assault on Nigerian diplomat. from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/478991-indonesian-ambassador-meets-onyeama-defends-assault-on-nigerian-diplomat.html
Toromade, S. (2021). Nigeria recalls Ambassador to Indonesia after officials assaulted diplomat. from https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/nigeria-recalls-ambassador-to-indonesia-after-officials-assaulted-diplomat/g0dxwvd
Denza, E. (2021). Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. from https://legal.un.org/avl/ha/vcdr/vcdr.html
RESPUBLICA v. DE LONGCHAMPS, 1 U.S. 111 (1784). (2021).from https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/1/111/
Josesa, Agato Kevindito et al. “TANGGUNG JAWAB NEGARA TERHADAP PERLINDUNGAN PEJABAT DIPLOMATIK MENURUT KONVENSI WINA 1961 (Studi Kasus Penyerangan Duta Besar Amerika Serikat di Korea Selatan).” Diponegoro Law Journal 5 (2016): 16.