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Jakarta Post

Syrian man detained by Mataram immigration officers

  • Panca Nugraha

    The Jakarta Post

Mataram   /   Wed, August 31, 2016   /  06:46 pm
Syrian man detained by Mataram immigration officers Mohammad Azzam, a Syrian, with his wife, Nunung Purwanti, in Nunung’s house in Lombok Tengah on Aug. 29 before being taken to the immigration office. (Courtesy of Mataram Immigration Office/-)

Mataram Immigration officers detained Syrian national Mohammad Azzam Shamma, 30, on Monday afternoon in Praya district, Lombok Tengah regency in West Nusa Tenggara, because of alleged immigration violations.

“We have been questioning him. We took him Monday afternoon from a house belonging to Nunung Purwanti, a former migrant worker, whom he claimed as his wife,” Immigration Officer R. Agung Wibowo told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Agung said Azzam arrived in Lombok from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Jan. 9 using a 30-day tourist visa released by the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

On June 6, Azzam was recorded to have requested a visa extension at the immigration office in Mataram.

“But the visa could not be extended. He had to request asylum at a representative's office for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jakarta. From that data, we tracked him down and we found him in Lombok Tengah with the help of intelligence from the Lombok Tengah Military Command,” Agung went on.

Agung said Indonesia considered it an immigration violation for an asylum seeker to marry a local.

Azzam allegedly knew Nunung when she was a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia.

“He held an asylum seeker certificate from the UNHCR, valid until November 2016,” Agung said.

The office, he said, had focused on immigration violations, not about whether or not the man was a member of the Islamic State (IS). (evi)


 

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