Thursday, 18 Safar 1441 / 17 October 2019

Thursday, 18 Safar 1441 / 17 October 2019

Two Indonesians taken hostage in Philippines

Kamis 21 Feb 2019 00:50 WIB

Red: Reiny Dwinanda

Foreign Ministry's Director for the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Abroad Lalu Muhammad Iqbal

Foreign Ministry's Director for the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Abroad Lalu Muhammad Iqbal

Foto: RepublikaTV/Havid Al Vizki
Two Wakatobi residents are being taken hostage by Abu Sayyaf in Philippines.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Indonesian Foreign Ministry confirmed here on Wednesday that two Indonesian citizens are being taken hostage by the notorious Abu Sayyaf armed group in the Southern Philippines since Dec 5, 2018. The two victims were identified as Hariadi and Heri Ardiansyah.

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They are residents of Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi Province, the Foreign Ministry's Director for the Protection of Indonesian Citizens and Legal Entities Abroad Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said.

"The Foreign Ministry has maintained regular communication with the families of two Indonesian citizens in Wakatobi since the report on this kidnap was received," he revealed in a short message in response to a video going viral on social media platforms.

Along with a Malaysian national, the two ill-fated Indonesians were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf armed group when they were poaching in the Malaysian waters off Sandakan, the second largest city in Sabah State, on Dec 5, 2018. Iqbal noted that the Indonesian Government has been attempting to free Hariadi and Heri Ardiansyah, the victims of the 11th abduction carried out by the Abu Sayyaf armed group in the Malaysian waters of Sabah.

"This sort of video has always been circulated by the hostage takers to pressure the victims' families," he explained.

In the 30-second video, the two Indonesian men were ordered to kneel with their eyes covered with black cloth. Behind them, there were five men armed with assault rifles and machetes. One of the Indonesian hostages admitted that he worked as a fisherman in Sabah before being kidnapped by the notorious Abu Sayyaf armed group.

In December 2018, an Indonesian citizen, who was kidnapped in Sabah waters, Malaysia, and later held hostage in the Sulu Islands, Southern Philippines, was successfully released and handed over to the family. The ill-fated citizen Usman Yunus (35) was released on Dec 7, 2018. Following his release, Usman underwent a medical examination at the Armed Forces Hospital in Jolo, Sulu, Southern Philippines.

Usman was kidnapped along with another Indonesian citizen, Samsul Saguni (40), by armed groups in waters near Pulau Gaya, Samporna, Sabah (Malaysia) on Sept 11, 2018. Usman was held hostage for two months and 26 days.

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