Saturday, July 2, 2022

Indonesians mourn governor’s son found dead in Swiss river

Swiss authorities retrieved his body from a dam after a 12-day search and repatriated it to Indonesia.

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Tens of thousands of people filled streets in the city of Bandung Monday to mourn a governor’s son, who was found dead in a Swiss river last week after a search that captivated Indonesia.

The disappearance of Emmeril “Eril” Kahn Mumtadz last month gained national attention, with Indonesians posting images and videos online of the eldest son of Ridwan Kamil, the governor of Indonesia’s most populous province West Java.

The 22-year-old disappeared in the Swiss capital Bern’s Aare River on May 26 while swimming with his sister and friends.

Swiss authorities retrieved his body from a dam after a 12-day search and repatriated it to Indonesia on Sunday.

Massive crowds gathered Monday in Bandung, the capital of West Java, to bid goodbye to the politician’s son ahead of a burial broadcast on national television, where sobbing mourners were seen waving to his family as they travelled to a cemetery alongside his body.

Some mourners travelled from other Indonesian islands to pay their respects, local media reported.

“I believe Eril is very happy now and he is at peace. We are also at peace and we have accepted what happened,” his father told reporters outside the cemetery.

Kamil is a former mayor of Bandung and one of the most popular politicians in Indonesia, frequently named as one of the figures expected to run in the 2024 presidential election.

President Joko Widodo on Friday said he contacted the governor to pay his “deepest condolences”.

Cabinet ministers and politicians also paid their respects, welcoming his son’s body on arrival in Jakarta and meeting Kamil before the funeral.

“Eril was a good person. God willing, Eril will be granted the best place next to God,” Ganjar Pranowo, the Central Java governor who is also a favourite to win the presidential election, tweeted Monday.

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