The Jakarta Post
Outspoken antigovernment activist Ratna Sarumpaet admitted to having lied about being assaulted in Bandung, West Java, saying pictures of her swollen eyes that went viral on Tuesday were the result of liposuction.
Ratna said that after having surgery at a hospital in Jakarta she had bruises on her face and lied to her children, telling them that she had been beaten by unidentified assailants.
“There was no assault. That was just a delusion inspired by Satan,” she told the media hours after the police held a conference questioning her claims.
She claimed that her family members, concerned about her swollen face, kept asking what had happened to her, so she made up a story about being assaulted. She conceded that it had been a mistake.
“I never thought that I would be this stupid. I don’t know what evil encouraged me to create [the lie],” Ratna said. “So, there was no such assault.”
Ratna’s claims turned political after presidential contender Prabowo Subianto met her and denounced the “assault” against her, saying that he would speak to National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian about the “human rights abuse.”
Ratna has apologized to Prabowo and the public for her deception, particularly to National Mandate Party (PAN) patron Amien Rais, "who had been patient listening to me lying yesterday.”
The 69-year-old political activist, who is part of Prabowo’s campaign team, claimed to have been assaulted in Bandung, resulting in injuries to her face. Pictures showing Ratna with her eyes nearly swollen shut began circulating on social media on Tuesday.
The deputy chairwoman of the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno campaign team, Nanik S. Deyang, said on Tuesday that the incident had taken place on Sept. 21 near Husein Sastranegara International Airport.
The police investigated Ratna’s claims and found out that she had not been in Bandung that day, but at a Jakarta hospital specializing in cosmetic surgery.